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Local golfers compete in annual Optimist International Junior Golf Championships

Seven local golfers are among the more than 500 of golf’s top young players who will compete in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The tournament will bring together some of the world’s most talented young competitors, many of whom have the potential to become leading collegiate and professional golfers in the future.

Junior golfers ages 10 to 18 will travel from throughout the world to play in the annual tournament. Boyswill compete in the 10-11, 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18 age divisions whiles the girls will compete in the 10-12, 13-14 and 15-18 age divisions.

Here are the girls who are going to compete in the event:

* Grace Aromando, of Lake St. Louis, in the 10-12 division.

* Shannon Gould, of O’Fallon, in the 13-14 group.

* Emily Goldenstein, of Chesterfield; Abby Schroeder, of Wildwood; and Jordan Wolf, of St. Charles; are playing in the 15-18 group. Goldenstein just graduated from Parkway West and will play at the University of Memphis. Schroeder will be a junior at MICDS.  Wolf just graduated from Westminster Christian Academy and will play at the University of South Florida.

Here are the boys, who all will be in the 16-18 age division, who will be competing in the event:

* James Siegfried, of Town and Country, who just graduated from De Smet and will play at Missouri.

* Daniel Trost, of  St. Louis, will be a senior at De Smet.

* Jack Klingel, of Ellisville,  will be a junior at De Smet.

The Optimist prides itself as an international event, with players representing 42 states, four Canadian provinces and 20 total nations. Former champions and top finishers of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships include PGA TOUR members Jonathan Byrd, Jason Day, Bill Haas, and Jeff Overton in addition to LPGA members Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome and Lexi Thompson. A number of other well-known professional golfers have participated in Optimist-sponsored championships, including Ernie Els, Nancy Lopez, Davis Love III, Michelle McGann, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
The Optimist will return to PGA National for the 19th consecutive year. Three of PGA National’s championship layouts will be used for the event – Fazio, Palmer and Squire courses . PGA National is home to the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic and has been host to the PGA Seniors Championship, the 1987 PGA Championship and the 1983 Ryder Cup.

Optimist International is one of the world’s largest service club organizations with nearly 90,000 adult and youth members in 3,000 clubs worldwide. Carrying the motto “Bringing Out the Best in Kids,” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than 6 million young people each year. The Optimist Junior Golf program is one of the organization’s most prominent projects.

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