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AJGA Emerson Jr Classic: Thorseth takes it

SANTEE, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2008) — Benjamin Thorseth of Richmond, Texas, shot a tournament total of 2-under-par 214 to take the win in the Boys Division of the Emerson Junior Golf Classic by three strokes. Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, Calif., carded a tournament total of 1-over-par 217 to win the Girls Division at Carlton Oaks Country Club Thursday.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Emerson Junior Golf Classic was a 54-hole stroke-play event held at Carlton Oaks Country Club. The tournament field consisted of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from seven states and China. Eighty-five hailed from the home state of California. The Boys Division played the par-72 layout at 7,003 yards, while the Girls Division played at 6,152 yards.

Thorseth, who was playing in his last career AJGA event, came into the final round one shot back of two-day leader Steven Kearney of Calrsbad, Calif. By the sixth hole, Thorseth had taken the lead and never looked back.

“It was on No. 6 that I pulled to even-par and Steven bogeyed it,” Thorseth said. “That was big and I just got into my comfort zone with the lead after that.”

The 18-year-old, who will start college in two weeks at Rice University, carded four birdies on the day including one on the par-3 17th.

“I came in this week hoping to win since it's my last AJGA tournament and I've never won one,” Thorseth said. “I've had a few top-three finishes, but I knew this week was 54-holes of golf and I couldn't think too much about it. It's a great feeling knowing I came out on top.”

Finishing in second was Yi Keun Chang of Walnut, Calif., with a 1-over-par 217. John Young Kim of Los Alamitos, Calif., and Kearney tied for third both with a 3-over-par 219. In fifth was Boris Stantchev of Long Beach, Calif., with a 5-over-par 221.

In the Girls Division, Frasier came into the final round tied for second and three shots behind the leader. The 15-year-old was placed in the second to last group and that enabled her to think only about her own game.

“I was just able to focus while they battled it out in the last group,” Frasier said. “That way I could come in with a low score before them.”

Frasier's low final round of a 4-under-par 68 was exclamated by the three consecutive birdies she carded on Nos. 15-17.

“I played out here three weeks ago in a tournament and I had the most trouble on Nos. 15-17,” Frasier said. “That really changed the tournament for me and I came into this week wanting revenge on the course. I was able to make the putts today and redeem myself.”

Also atop the Girls Division leaderboard, finishing in second was Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, with a 3-over-par 219. In third was Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, with a 226 tournament total.

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ABOUT THE AJGA Emerson Junior Golf Classic

One of the AJGA series of "open" tournaments with a Performance Based Entry process (see below). Format is 54 holes of stroke play. Must be AJGA member.

Performance Based Entry Process
In 2003, the AJGA abandoned its tournament selection process that was based on the strength of a tournament application and resume in favor of a Performance Based Entry process. This enables 12-18-year-old members to earn their way into AJGA Open tournaments based on performances at the national, regional and state levels.

Through more than 20 years of research on junior golf tournaments, the AJGA has compiled a list of hundreds of tournaments included in Performance Based Entry. This includes national events, other junior tours, regional events as well as events on the state level. The AJGA records information on all players (AJGA members and non-members) who play in a recognized event and meet the required finish in that event.

The Performance Based Entry status is the main criterion used for non-exempt players to gain entry into an AJGA open event. AJGA members can view their status anytime in the AJGA Player Center on the AJGA Web site, ajga.org.

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