Independence, MO – On the last three holes at Drumm Farm Golf Club on Wednesday June 25th, Jalen Heald and Preston Fleenor were locked in a tight battle to find a winner of the guy’s division in the Midwest PGA Junior Qualifier. Not only would a win be great bragging rights, it would also send the respective golfer to the Junior PGA Championship. The final result became clear very quickly as Heald shot a two-day total 136 beating Fleenor by two strokes.
“It was an exciting win because it got me into the Junior PGA Championship,” Heald said. “There were a couple shots I left out there but overall it was a great experience and I look forward to the Junior Championship.”
While the guy’s section was a two-way battle, the ladies section was easily won by Jean Tyrell. Tyrell soared to a 28-stroke lead with a two-day total score of 151 also securing a spot in the Junior PGA Championship. Tyrell added this win to her already extensive resume which includes a 2013 Missouri Women’s Junior Champion win and a third place finish in the Future Collegians World Championship tour.
“Over the last two days that we’ve been here these kids have showed so much heart,” Brad Demo the Midwest PGA Executive Director said. “They are super super nice but still are out here to compete and win. Through nine years I’m still happy to say that I get to follow some of these kids on the various PGA tours.”
Not only did the Midwest Junior PGA tournament provide amazing talent and showed the true grit of a lot of the competitors, it also showcased the growth of junior golf in Kansas City which has been down since 2010.
With several other junior leagues in the Kansas City area competing for top spots as “the league” the Midwest Junior PGA tournament also took it’s stride and are continuing to help grow the game in KC and around the Midwest.
“Golf is not super popular right now,” Demo said. “We have identified that and we are working on making it better…Today the junior’s want to do things with their buddies so we are trying to make it more of a team sport.”
Demo also prequeled a large announcement coming up within the next three months for the junior programs and the PGA itself which will positively affect Kansas City and cities all over America.