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Major champ Danielle Kang puts name on stellar junior tournament

Updated June 4, 2019 - 3:12 pm

Las Vegas resident and LPGA Tour major champion Danielle Kang continues to be visible within the Las Vegas golf community as she hosts this week’s American Junior Golf Association junior tournament at Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas.

As a junior, Kang was a two-time AJGA All-American. As a professional, she won the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA and the 2018 Buick LPGA Shangai. During a stretch from February through April this year, she had five top-10 finishes in six tournaments. This past week, she missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Last I saw Kang was moments after she caddied for her brother, Alex, during the U. S. Open local qualifier at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort in May. Her advice proved fruitful as he shot 65 to advance to Monday’s sectional qualifier at Brookside and Scioto country clubs in Columbus, Ohio. Sister caddied again, but without as much success because Kang shot 72-72—144 and didn’t qualify for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach June 13-16.

The 78-player field in the Kang/Lake Las Vegas tournament features 11 previous AJGA champions and 26 college golf commits including Madeline Laux, who will attend UNLV in 2020. Players hail from locales such as British Columbia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Zealand, Texas, California and Arizona.

Southern Nevada residents playing include Kirsten Angosta, Natalie Cheong, Colton Cherry, Joey Dotta, Ian Fritz, Aidan Goldstein, Morgan Goldstein, Joanne Lee, Mathew Manganello, Riana Mission, Ben Sawaia, Brett Sawaia, Jared Smith, Mason Snyder, Brett Sodetz, Rashon Williams, Yana Wilson, Seth Winterton and Michael Sarro, the 2019 Nevada state high school 4A champion.

Columbus calamities

It was a difficult day at the Columbus U.S. Open sectional qualifier for many pros with Las Vegas ties. Not among the 14 players advancing in addition to Alex Kang were Alex Cejka, Wyndham Clark, Charley Hoffman, Maverick McNealy, Ryan Moore, Scott Piercy and Nick Watney.

Gulbis gives back

LPGA Tour player Natalie Gulbis hosts her annual charity classic June 17 at TPC Summerlin. The event benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. Spots remain available to play the private home course of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Topgolf junior academy

Topgolf Las Vegas instructors are offering weekly summer five-day junior academies for ages 6-12 through July 12. Cost is $199 per session and includes instruction, game play, lunch and gifts.

Weekly deal

The $59 Las Vegas Paiute summer player’s advantage card is available to Clark County residents and includes the lowest rates, 14-day tee time reservations and other discounts. Paiute is home to three Pete Dye signature courses.

Mesquite champs

More than 650 golfers played in the Mesquite Amateur last week. Daniel Monaco, from Saugus, Massachusetts, was the overall champion. Gigi Higgins, from Cape Coral, Florida, won the gross division for the third straight year.

Stars on, off course

Matt Martin of the New York Islanders celebrated his bachelor party at Topgolf Las Vegas with fellow Islanders Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey and Casey Cizikias. Martin is engaged to Sydney Esiason, the daughter of retired NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason.

The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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