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AJGA returns to Windham this week

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    Windham native Peter Pranzo competes in the 2017 Windham Junior All-Star competition. Pranzo is in the 96-golfer field that plays this week in Windham.
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    AJGASigns for Windham Mountain and the Junior All-Star Series are seen prior to the tournament starting.
June 26, 2018 12:00 am

WINDHAM — The American Junior Golf Association Junior All-Stars Series returns to Windham Mountain this week with some of the best young golfers in the world descending upon Greene County.

This is the third year that Windham Country Club is hosting the event as late owner, Randy MacDonald, advocated bringing the series to the area. He passed away three months after the first event in 2016.

Overall, six countries and 17 states will be represented in the tournament with Pete Pranzo the only one that can call the Windham course home.

Pranzo is one of the top 96 players that will be competing this week in the 54-hole stroke-play event which starts today.

The Junior All-Star Series was established in 1998 to give younger players, age 12-15, an opportunity to compete against peers on a worldwide level.

Monday served as a practice round. Today, First Round action kicks off at 7 a.m. The second round begins on Wednesday with the Final Round on Thursday with an awards ceremony following.

Drue Nicholas, of New Jersey, won the male side of the competition in 2017, shooting a 207 total. Phoebe Brinker, of Delaware, won the female side with a 212.

Top Players to Watch

— Garrett Kessler, North Caldwell, N.J. (2021)

Kessler has played in one AJGA tournament so far and came out as a champion. Kessler took home the champion title at the 2018 AJGA Preview at Forsgate. The 14-year-old won the IMG Junior World qualifier this year and will be looking to earn a second AJGA victory.

— Matthew Yamin, New York, N.Y. (2022)

Yamin is looking to earn his first AJGA victory this weekend after coming in third at the 2017 Mill Creek Foundation Junior All-Star. The rising freshman is a University of California, Los Angeles verbal commit and a winner of the NYSAIS Championship.

— Evan Woosley-Reed, Shelbyville, Tenn. (2022)

Currently 288 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Woosley-Reed has came close to earning victories several times in previous AJGA tournaments. Earlier in March, Woosley-Reed finished T3 at the TaylorMade / Adidas Boys Junior All-Star.

— Ava Lozito, Fairfield, N.J. (2021)

Lozito is a rising sophomore and has played in only one AJGA tournament so far. At the 2018 AJGA Preview at Forsgate, Lozito earned her first AJGA victory and is now T406 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

— Kwankamon Meesomboon, (Thailand) Anaheim, Calif. (2021)

Meesomboon is currently T249 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and is looking to earn her first AJGA victory this weekend. Meesomboon best previous finish came at the 2017 AJGA Junior All-Star at Morongo where she finished T2. The 15-year-old won the 2016 Kids Golf Championship Malaysia in the Girls Division 13-14.

— Yoko Tai, Singapore (2022)

Finishing T2 at the Girls Junior All-Star presented by the Spinnaker Foundation, Tai is a player to watch this weekend. Tai is currently No. 269 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.