Young Tri-Valley golfers headed to national championship

Pleasanton teen sinks birdie putt to clinch win for Las Positas team

Ten young golfers from the Las Positas ACE Junior Team won the Western Regional Championship at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Washington on Sunday to earn a spot in the PGA Junior League Golf Championship in Arizona this November.

The ACE (Athletic Commitment to Excellence) team, which trains at Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore, consists of boys and girls from 12 to 13 years old from communities like San Ramon, Pleasanton, Dublin and as far away as Fresno.

Pleasanton's Drew Kim, 13, clinched the victory for the squad by making a 15-foot putt on the final hole in the final match Sunday. Video of his birdie putt was featured on Golf Channel.

"We had been down 1-to-4, and then because of Drew Kim's putt, we won the regionals" said Jeff DeBenedetti, Las Positas's director of golf who heads up the junior program. "The entire team played very well and is an example of the level of play that our junior program achieves."

The Las Positas team also featured Ian Gilligan, Darren Pang, Anay Roge, Aiden Tran, Ethan Jaehn, Jacob Ponce, Austin Tran, Alice Liu and Madison Wu.

They will be among 80 young players on eight teams competing in the championship event Nov. 19-21 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Las Positas ACE Junior Team won the national championship in 2012.

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