EAST WENATCHEE — Led by a strong local contingent that includes newly crowned Washington Junior Golf Association champion Aaron Whalen of Ephrata and four-time high school state champion Kelli Bowers of Chelan, 99 of the best junior golfers from 10 states and Canada will descend on Wenatchee Golf & Country Club this week for an American Junior Golf Association tournament.
It is the third consecutive summer that the WG&CC has hosted the AJGA Junior, which is a three-day, 54-hole stroke play event boys and girls divisions.
Competitors in each division range from ages 12-18.
Admission is free for the event, and fans are welcome to attend any of the rounds of play. Tee times run from 7 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Aaron Whalen, along with his older brother Andrew, comprise two-third of the local entries in the boys division. Ryan Books lives in Seattle, but his family keeps a home adjacent to the WG&CC.
Bowers, the lone local girls competitor in this week’s field, is headed to the University of Washington after winning four consecutive Class 1A state golf championships at Chelan High School.
Bowers did not compete in last year’s AJGA Junior.
The returning boys champion will be back to defend his crown in 2010.
Macgregor Hoobery, a rising senior from Santa Maria, Calif., shot a 213 over three days to win the 2009 championship by one stroke.
Hoobery and Lorens Chan, a rising junior from Honolulu, are the two most nationally acclaimed boys golfers in the field.
Chan is ranked 65th in the current Polo Golf Rankings, and has five career top-10 finishes in AJGA events.
On the girls’ side, Morgan Thompson, of Tualatin, Ore., is the highest placer from last year’s event returning this week.
Thompson shot a 224 but finished in third place, five strokes back of 2009 champion Seo Hee Moon.
“This is one of AJGA’s few Pacific Northwest events and it will be our third year at Wenatchee Golf & Country Club,” said AJGA media relations coordinator Kristi Bradley said in an e-mail to the World. “The staff there has been very to accommodating to not only our tournament, but our mission in general.”
Brian Adamowsky: 664-7157