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Junior Golf Tournament Reaching New Heights
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Each player arriving at the Oakdale Junior Classic hosted by the Oakdale Golf and Country Club on Monday, Aug. 6 showed up with the expectation of establishing themselves as a player to be reckoned with during the prestigious junior golf tournament.

Players from all over California and even Nevada found their way to the O.G.C.C. sponsored event and were not disappointed. Several boys and girls from eight different age divisions competed in the Junior Golfers Association of Northern California (JGANC) premiere level event, making it one of the top-tier tournaments in all of junior golf.

"Our primary goal was to lift the tournament from a minor tournament up to a premiere tournament," Classic tournament director Jim Pecchenino of Riverbank said. "In doing so, there are a number of requirements on the tournament itself. We were fortunate to reach that status a couple of years ago."

The premiere tournaments are the most rewarding of the JGANC events, making more points available for players to earn with successful rounds.

"Based on the points system that players earn throughout the season," Pecchenino explained. "The premiere status carries more weight than a tournament that would be classified as a major or a minor."

The superior status of the one-day tournament was substantiated by the above average play of the players, ranging from ages 8-under to 17 and including Escalon golfer Joseph Mayol in the mix. As expected, the older players shot some remarkable golf and turned in solid rounds, but in no way could overshadow the golf greats of the future.

"In the past you always look to the older juniors, like the 16 and 17-year-old boys and girls to sort of lead the pack," Pecchenino said. "Now, today that's no longer the case.

"A good example would be, a young girl who played in the 12-14 division (Shawnee Martinez) shot a 72 to win the entire girls part of the tournament playing in the girl's bracket of 12-14 years old."