Aspen Junior Golf Classic opens today |

Aspen Junior Golf Classic opens today

Aspen Times Staff Report

The 12th annual Marsico Funds Aspen Junior Golf Classic, presented by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), will be teeing off at the Aspen Golf Course today and continuing through Thursday, June 8.

The 54-hole stroke-play event includes divisions for boys and girls ages 13-18 and this year is expected to draw 99 top junior competitors from 21 Western states, including 31 golfers from Colorado.

In the boys division, Blake Mastalir of Englewood, Colo., and Arizona State signee Kendall Critchfield of Mesa, Ariz., are the top returners after finishing tied for 12th last year.

Critchfield has his 2000 season off to a good start after finishing fourth at the Arizona Junior Classic over Easter weekend. Andy Connell of Denver will also be returning to Aspen and hoping to improve on his 15th-place showing of last year.

Lindsay Hulwick, the top returning female competitor, is expected to lead the way in the girls division. The Littleton, Colo., golfer finished second last year behind fellow Littleton native Christine Anast. Aimee Tjelmelend of Colorado Springs will be hoping to better her ninth-place finish from 1999. Sara Silva of Fort Morgan, Colo., and Margaret Garehime of Englewood, Colo., will also contend for the 2000 title after finishing 14th and 17th, respectively, last year.

“It is exciting to once again return to Aspen for one of the AJGA’s longest-running events,” said AJGA tournament director Josh Hellmann. “Those involved with the Aspen Junior Golf Foundation have put together an outstanding junior golf program, and the AJGA is proud to work with them.”

The event will begin with a Junior-Am tournament on Monday, June 5, at 8 a.m. This benefit tourney pairs four amateur golfers with one of the top juniors in the field.

The official tournament will begin Tuesday morning.

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