Top junior golfers in world set to play at Poway’s Maderas Golf Course
By Michael Bower
Some of the best junior golfers in the world will converge to Poway’s Maderas Golf Club Tuesday for the Emerson Junior Golf Classic put on by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA).
A field of 132 boys and girls (ages 12-18) representing seven states and 11 countries will take on the challenging par-72 course. The first groups will tee off Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. on hole Nos. 1 and 10. There will be 54 holes played in the tournament with a cut coming after the second round on Wednesday. The tournament concludes on Thursday.
The highest ranked player in the field is China’s Yi Liu. The junior has three AJGA victories and should be in for a good battle with Kaitlin Park of Tustin Ranch, Calif. Park also has three AJGA wins and tied for fifth place in the 2010 Emerson Junior Golf Classic.
The boys division will be highlighted by defending champion Jonathan Sanders of Chatsworth, Calif. Sanders won last year’s Emerson tournament in a sudden-death playoff.
Two locals will also be competing in the boy’s division. Rancho Bernardo High’s Brandon Mai, who will be a sophomore in the fall, and Poway High’s Max Alcorn, who will be a junior, are both searching for their first AJGA tournament victory.
Alcorn had an outstanding sophomore year for the Titans, reaching the CIF Southern California championships where he finished tied for 30th. He was named to the All-CIF first team. Alcorn is hoping for a top-10 finish.
“I think I can do it,” said Alcorn, whose best finish at an AJGA event was 17th at the Aldila Junior All-Star in July of 2010. “AJGA is the most competitive golf tour out there so it is pretty tough.”
Mai has been in the hunt a few times at recent AJGA events. At the Junior All-Star at River Ridge April 29, Mai finished tied for second place and at the AJGA Junior at Diablo Grande April 8 he finished tied for fourth place. Mai missed the cut at last year’s Emerson tournament.
Spectators are welcome and entrance to the tournament is free for all ages.
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