An annual rite of summer for some of Aurora’s best youth golfers is the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships every July in Florida.
This season’s local contingent is small, but includes Eaglecrest junior-to-be Emma Bryant, who tied for medalist honors in the girls 15-18 qualifying tournament June 19 at Meadow Hills G.C. Bryant turned in a 3-over-par 73 to finish atop the field along with Kaylee Chen of Greenwood Village.
Bryant earned a chance to play in the Optimist tournament July 26-31, where she’ll be joined by Vista PEAK senior-to-be Kylie Severin. Severin, who tied for runner-up honors at the 4A state tournament, shot a 79 for one of the last qualifying spots. Both Aurora standouts just appeared on Sentinel Colorado’s All-Aurora Girls Golf Team.
The boys 16-18 Optimist tournament July 26-31 also has local representation in recent Smoky Hill grad Christopher Kennedy, who made it through a wild qualifier June 14 at Boulder’s Flatirons G.C. Kennedy (a four-time Class 5A state qualifier) made an eagle on the final hole to make it into a playoff, which he won by making birdie on the fourth hole.
Playing July 16-21 will be the boys 12-13 tournament that includes Aurora’s Liam Wood, while the simultaneous girls 10-12 tournament has an Aurora qualifier in Sophia Capua.
Wood advanced from a qualifier June 7 at Overland Park G.C. in Denver where he finished third with a 74, while Capua carded an 85 at Meadow Hills to earn the ninth and final qualifying spot.
The tournaments moved from their tradition home at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens to the Trump National Doral in Miami.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports