Final Five

Destefano, Nichols, Espinoza, Wilson, Atzbach land spots in IMG Academy Junior World Championships

By Gary Baines – 06/05/2019

Colorado-based qualifying concluded on Wednesday for the prestigious IMG Academy Junior World Championships as five more golfers, including four more Coloradans, advanced to next month’s tournaments in the San Diego area.

Qualifying at Family Sports Golf Course in Centennial were Brayden Destefano of Colorado Springs (1-over-par 32 in boys 9-10 division), Tate Nichols of Wheatland, Wyo. (33 in boys 9-10), Ace Espinoza of Denver (9-over-par 40 in boys 7-8 division, then beat Drive Chip & Putt National Finalist Grady Ortiz of Colorado Springs on the first hole of a playoff), Jadie Wilson of Denver (9-over-par 40 in girls 9-10 division) and Claire Atzbach of Lone Tree (62 in girls 7-8).

The IMG Junior Worlds will be held July 9-12.

Advancing from Colorado-based qualifiers last week were 12 additional players:

In the 15-18 divisions, moving on were Walker Franklin of Broomfield and Jack Hughes of Aspen, and Sofia Choi of Littleton and Aubri Braecklein of Northglenn. Timothy Kelley of Moorpark, Calif. and Wes Erling of Colorado Springs advanced in the boys 13-14 age group, and Jackson Shelley of Salt Lake City and Austin Barry of Fort Collins in the boys 11-12 divison. For girls, qualifying in the 13-14 division were Bead Boonta of Centennial and Kaitlyn Zingler of Lakewood. In 11-12, Alexandra Remaklus of Commerce City and Alena Kasanicky of Longmont made the grade.