Aspen’s Walla to defend Jr. Classic crown |

Aspen’s Walla to defend Jr. Classic crown

Today and Wednesday at the Aspen Golf Club, Aspen’s Kristin Walla will defend her title in the 16th annual Colorado PGA Foundation Aspen Junior Golf Classic.Walla, a rising Aspen High School senior who has finished in the top-10 in all three of her appearances in the Class 4A girls golf state championship, won last year’s Classic, which is regarded as one of the elite junior tourneys of Colorado summer. Former girls champions include LPGA players like Emilee Klein, Heather Bowie and Kelli Kuenue.Walla will be among about 50 players, boys and girls, competing in the 2004 tournament. Players, ages 12 to 18, will be teeing off between 8 and 10:30 a.m. today. The public is invited to come out and watch.Eric Winder of Grand Junction, last year’s boys champion, returns to defend his title as well, according to Reed Alexander, the assistant director of the Aspen Junior Golf Foundation.Aspen Junior Golf’s Executive Director Alden Richards and Alexander are running the tournament.”I played the course [Monday] and the greens are very fast,” Alexander said. “The wind is going to be the toughest thing, though. If the wind blows, the scores will be high.”The 36-hole event takes over the course once again on Wednesday for a second trip around the links.Other local competitors expected to play include Charlie Olson, A.J. Morris, Scott Tarbet, brothers Toby and Peter Harriman and Colin Sledge.”There’s about five really strong girls players, and obviously Kristin is in that group,” said Alexander. “It’s one of the top junior events in the state, so we should be seeing some top-flight golf.”This year’s Junior Classic is sponsored by the R.H. Crossland Foundation and Aspen’s Limelite Lodge.

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