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Slick greens give junior golfers trouble

By PAUL EBNER
June 8, 2009 at 1:08 a.m.

Winners from Monday's First Choice Youth Qualifying Golf Tournament at Victoria Country Club included from left, Olivia Esparza, first girls division; Trevor Vega, first boys division; Greg Brazzeal, second boys; Brittany Miears, second girls; Eric Still, third boys; and Maddy Buhler, third girls.

Ask either winner and they will be quick to point out that the slick greens were the real winners Monday at Victoria Country Club.

Yoakum's Olivia Esparza and Victoria's Trevor Vega bested the rest of the field to earn the top qualifying spots at the 2009 First Choice Youth Qualifying Golf Tournament.

The scores were indicative of the conditions of the course as the junior golfers competed for a chance to advance to the First Choice state tournament in Euless.

Esparza, who was a member of Yoakum's Class 3A state bronze medal team, posted an 84 to win the girls division by four shots. Vega, a Region IV-5A tournament qualifier for Memorial, won the boys division by three shots with an 83.

"It should have been better but the greens were really fast," Vega said. "I lost a lot of strokes on the greens."

Esparza didn't hesitate to back Vega up.

"They were definitely fast," Esparza said. "I just tried to keep calm and do what I needed."

The duo, along with runners-up Brittany Miears of Yoakum and Greg Brazzeal of Victoria, will compete in the state event July 11-12 at the Texas Star Golf Course in Euless.

State winners advance to the national tournament to be held July 25-30 at the Dornich Hills Golf and Country Club in Ardmore, Okla.

Miears defeated Victoria's Maddy Buhler in a one-hole playoff after they finished tied for second with 88s. Victoria's Ashley Weaver placed fourth with an 89.

Brazzeal was also forced into a playoff where he defeated Victoria's Eric Still on the first hole to advance. Both finished with 86s. Shiner's Matthew Pohler placed fourth with an 87.

Vega hopes to use the state tournament to show he actually belongs at the event.

"I made a lot of mistakes today and this is another opportunity to play with good golfers and prove I belong there," Vega said.

STPGA junior season opens

The Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour began play Monday with area players taking part in events at Gabe Lozano Golf Course in Corpus Christi and the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio.

Greyson Park of Port Lavaca finished 11th in the boys 14-15 division at the Corpus Christi event posting a 104. Flatonia's Kraig Zimmerhanzel won the division with an 80.

At the Hyatt Hill Country Resort event, Moulton's Justin Orsak shot a 90 to tied for 18th in the boys 16-18 division.

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