Now it’s time for 99 junior golfers to tee it up at the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic at Coosa Country Club starting today.
AJGA tournament director Chris White said he expectes some very competitive golf.
“As always there is a very strong field,” said White. “We are hoping to see a lot of low scores.”
The first tee time is scheduled at 7:30 a.m. this morning for the first day of the three-day 54-hole tournament that has a representative competing from 14 different states, including 33 from Georgia.
White said that the weather could play a big factor on course conditions as well as how the players attack the course.
“This year it’s been real hot, but the course has been kept in great shape,” said White. “The heat and humidity could definitely come into play, and we are hoping for clear skies because rain is no fun for us.”
The tournament features six local players from Rome, including Darlington’s Will Jones, Jack Kelly and Taylor Wynn, Armuchee’s Mark Kim, Model’s Ryan Cunningham and Coosa’s Ethan Lambert.
Coosa Country Club Professional Brian Albertson said that their familiarity with the course could be a big positive.
“It always helps to know the course, but they can’t put too much of the hometown pressure on themselves,” said Albertson. “The local kids are good young golfers and it would be great to see all of them play well.”
Albertson, who was named the 2009 AJGA Professional of the Year, was part of the team that won the junior-am by one stroke on Monday morning with a 21-under. Joining Albertson on the shamble format team was Jo Stegall, Mark Sargent, Preston Etheridge and junior golfer Sarah Hicks.
He said that he is looking forward to seeing the tournament action.
“We are very excited because we are hosting the best junior golfers in the world,” said Albertson. “It’s a great community effort and effort by our members to put on this event.
“I think there is going to be some low scores. The players just keep getting better and better, and they are more focused and dedicated than years ago.”
The tournament runs through Thursday. Some of the names to watch for the boys are Sepp Straka, of Valdosta, who has signed with UGA, and Cody Shafer, of Evans, who is ranked No. 115 in the Polo Golf Rankings.
For the girls, Ashlan Ramsey, of Bradenton, Fla., could be at the top of the leaderboard as she finished second in last year’s Mooney Classic.
First-round pairings and tee times
7:30 a.m. Jack Wilkes, Roanoke, Va.
Michael Garretson, Acworth
Zach Hartman, St. Simons Island
7:40 a.m. Carson Jacobs, Hendersonville, Tenn.
Cody Shafer, Evans
Sepp Straka, Valdosta
7:50 a.m. John Boehme, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Ian Phillips, Acworth
Andy Shim, Lawrenceville
8 a.m. Charles Clifton III, Alpharetta
Prem Samritpricha, Bradenton, Fla.
Zack Jaworski, Alpharetta
8:10 a.m. Matt Cote, Palm Harbor, Fla.
Chase Koepka, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Tripp H’Doubler, Atlanta
8:20 a.m. Anibal Kim, Asuncion, Paraguay
Taylor Dickson, Gastonia, N.C.
Elton Chang, Alpharetta
8:30 a.m. David Novinger, Knoxville, Tenn.
Joe Maziar, Atlanta
Brant Patton, Evans
8:40 a.m. Charlie Kern, Mercer Island, Wash.
Noah West, Belden, Miss.
Will Jones, Rome
8:50 a.m. John Yi, Marietta
Michael Wallace, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Will Brackett, Canton
9 a.m. Ty Palmer, Kernersville, N.C.
Declan Vea, Evansville, Ind.
William Sellers, Montgomery, Ala.
9:10 a.m. Austin Garrett, Smithville, Tenn.
Reeves Zaytoun, Raleigh, N.C.
Keegan Vea, Evansville, Ind.
9:20 a.m. Hayden Morgan, Brentwood, Tenn.
Scott Verplank, Edmond, Okla.
Phillip Boljanovich, Naples, Fla.
9:30 a.m. Gavin Shellnut, Franklin, Tenn.
Taylor Wynn, Rome
John Weyenberg, Menasha, Wis.
9:40 a.m. Kalena Preus, Honolulu, Hawaii
Alex Grossman, Acworth
Angelo Jose Gandionco, Cebu City, Philippines
9:50 a.m. Chris Kupcewicz, Acworth
Harrison Brown, Marietta
Jack Kelly, Rome
10 a.m. Nick Celestino, Sarasota, Fla.
Ryan Cunningham, Rome
John Russo, Alpharetta
10:10 a.m. Parks Brown IV, Marietta
Jeffrey Heinicka, Pinellas Park, Fla.
Chandler Fischer, Nicholasville, Ky.
10:20 a.m. Shojun Park, Lake Mary, Fla.
Ethan Lambert, Rome
Mark Gravbrot, Yakima, Wash.
10:30 a.m. Joshuah Klipstein, Norcross
Andrew Fowler, Cary, N.C.
James Beale, Auckland, New Zealand
10:40 a.m. Brian Beringer, Macon
Mark Kim, Rome
Will Thomas, Cary, N.C.
10:50 a.m. Kevin Richmond, Savannah
Carter Page Waynesville, N.C.
Meechai Padungsiriseth Bradenton, Fla.
11 a.m. Paul Poland, Johnson City, Tenn.
Daniel Kim, Kennesaw
Kee-Socrates Fryxell, Davenport, Iowa
11:10 a.m. Drew McAlister, Germantown, Tenn.
Taylor Diegel, Knoxville, Tenn.
Palmer Rogers, Marietta
11:20 a.m. William Anderson, Atlanta
Jason Woodall, Yanceyville, N.C.
Ross Whatley, Decatur
11:30 a.m. Minami Levonowich, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Rinko Mitsunaga, Roswell
Taylor Ramsey, Bradenton, Fla.
11:40 a.m. Silvia Garces, Cali, Colombia
Ashlan Ramsey, Bradenton, Fla.
Alexandra Milan, Lutz, Fla.
11:50 a.m. Sarah Hicks, Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Sloan Shanahan, Suwanee
Ji Eun Baik, Newnan
Noon Kaci McCartan, Plano, Texas
Daniela Rugeles, Bogota, Colombia
Isabella Skinner, Cumming
12:10 p.m. Samantha Marks Maitland, Fla.
So Jeong Lee Duluth
Katie Kirk Davidson, N.C.
12:20 p.m. Janie Jackson, Huntsville, Ala.
Hannah Collier, Birmingham, Ala.
Taelor Rubin, Raleigh, N.C.
12:30 p.m. Jordan Britt, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Jessica Welch, Lavonia
Jessica Haigwood, Roswell
12:40 p.m. Kaitlin Matheson, Easley, S.C.
Caroline Beebe, Daphne, Ala.
Kate Cho, Cumming
12:50 p.m. Jordan Hollinshead, Old Hickory, Tenn.
Ailin Li, Windermere, Fla.
Margaret Min, Honolulu, Hawaii