Liberty golfers Frick, Valociek win PING Invitational

Top three finishers in the Boys Championship Division at the PING Invitational pose July 24 after the tournament. They are, from left: first place Kobe Valociek of Peoria, Gabriel Salvanera and Riley Lewis. [Submitted Photo]

By Jeff Locke
Special to Independent Newsmedia

Kobe Valociek of Peoria blistered the par-71 golf course at The Legacy Golf Resort with rounds of 65 and 63 en route to a 14-under-par 128 at the PING Invitational July 23-24.

His bogeyless first round featured six birdies, three on the front, three on the back. And in the final round, Valociek turned in another clean scorecard with eight birdies and a 6-under-par 29 on the back nine.

The win marks his first of the season in 13 starts in the Boys Championship division. Valociek is beginning his senior year at Liberty.

Defending champion and verbal commit to Loyola Marymount University, Riley Lewis of Prescott came in second place with a pair of 68s to finish at 6-under-par 136. Gabriel Salvanera of San Tan Valley, who will play for South Mountain CC in the fall, came in third place at 5-under-par 137 (70-76).

In the girls championship division, Liberty sophomore-to-be Mattison Frick posted 71-68 highlighted by an eagle in the final round on No. 8.

She added two birdies on the way in to win for the second time this season at 3-under-par 139, one stroke ahead of defending champion and first round leader, Maya Benita of Tucson.

Benita shot two rounds of 70, both featuring three birdies and two bogeys to finish at 2-under-par 140. Madeleine Laux of Goodyear and Millennium High School finished in third place at even-par 142 (72-70). The verbal commit to UNLV jumped into the third spot thanks to three consecutive birdies at the beginning of the final nine holes.

Another golfer from Peoria, Brooke McGlasson of won the Girls 13-14 division at 7-over par (78-75—153). Anya Mathur of Scottsdale won the Girls 11-12 Division at 5-over par (38-37—75), and Ashley Shaw of Litchfield Park defended her title in the Girls 10 and Under division at even par (36-34—70).

The Junior Golf Association of Arizona is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to educate, motivate and inspire Arizona’s youth through golf and all of the lessons and life skills inherent to the game. In addition to hosting competitive events, the JGAA develops programs for local schools, assists golf courses with their junior programs, conducts college prep seminars and etiquette clinics.

The Junior Ambassador and Guest Speaker Programs give JGAA students the opportunity to learn, develop and adopt successful habits and practices on and off the golf course.

The JGAA also awards two scholarship funds annually to high school senior members of the JGAA for their college education – the Tres Arnold and the John Wolfinger Memorial College Scholarships.Visit or call 602-944-6168.

Editor’s note: Jeff Locke works for Communication Links.

Top three finishers in the Girls Championship Division at the PING Invitational pose July 24 after the tournament. They are, from left: first place Mattison Frick of Peoria, Maya Benita and Madeleine Laux. [Submitted Photo]

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