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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


August 23, 2003 - Issue 94


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Dailleboust, Billy Win Back-to-Back Junior Titles

by Oree Foster The Navajo Times
credits: Jessica Dailleboust tees off from the back nine during the final round of Division I championships. Times photo - Paul Natonabah

Jessica Dailleboust tees off from the back nine during the final round of Division I championships. Times photo - Paul NatonabahESPANOLA, N.M. - Jessica Dailleboust and Lamonte Billy finished strong during the final 18 holes to earn national championships during the second National Native American Junior Golf Championships Thursday.

The junior golf championships, held at Brack Mesa Golf Course on the Santa Clara Pueblo, were sponsored by the Native American Sports Council of Colorado Springs, Colo.

For the second consecutive year, Dailleboust and Billy earned individual national championships.

Eighty-four Native American male and female contestants competed on three golf courses in the Santa Fe vicinity. The tournament included 73 male and 11 female competitors.

Aikta Verma, NASC project coordinator, said the tournament was a success.

"Everyone had fun," Verma said. "There was three days of excellent competition. Jessica (Dailleboust) and Lamonte (Billy) defended their championships. Overall everything went as planned."

A developmental clinic was held each day by various golf pros.

"The developmental clinic was a great success," Verma noted. "The kids learned a lot and took knowledge about the game home. Everyone enjoyed the developmental clinics, which were held each of the three days of competition."

Navajo PGA Golfer Notah Begay III, taking time off his busy schedule, conducted a golf clinic for 150 Native American youth at Cochiti Lake Golf Course, home of the second round of the junior golf tournament.

The participants had an opportunity to interact with Begay, receiving an autograph from native America's most famous golfer.

Begay demonstrated personal and professional techniques of putting. The one-hour clinic focused on improving and polishing the skills of golf.

"It is an honor to be here," Begay, who is competing in PGA Tournament in Castle Rock, Colo., today through Sunday, said. "It feels great to be able to give back to not only to the sport, but also to the native community."

Begay added, "My advice for Native Americans golfers trying to get more exposure is to try and be more involved in tournaments like these. And to keep playing the game, stay focused and remember that there is always room for improvement."

Begay finished up his day interacting with junior golfers and their families by attending a dinner. A large crowd gathered around the professional golfer as he sat in the middle of five different families and informally talked about life and golf.

In between eating and talking, Begay signed autographs and asked the golfers how their scores for the day were.

Dailleboust shot a 230 during the three days of competition and 54 holes en route to winning the female national title for the second year.

Dailleboust, Navajo Times All-Area All-Star Girl's Golfer of the Year while playing at Hope Christian School in Albuquerque, carded a 78 during the opening round.

Dailleboust and Glynnis Price were knotted at 78 during the opening round. Dailleboust played steady during the second round, finishing with a 78. Price managed an 85.

Dailleboust completed the final round with a 74 and Price settled for a 77. Price completed the 54 holes with a 240.

Billy shot a 72 during the first 18 holes. Hunter Nickell was in first place after shooting a 71 on opening day. Billy carded a 76 while Nickell finished with a 77 in the second round. Billy and Nickell were tied at 148 heading into the final day of competition.

Billy posted a 71 during the final day while Nickell shot an 83, winning the male national championship by 12 strokes. Billy finished with a 219 and Nickell posted a 231.

At the awards ceremony, Dailleboust, girls Division I national champion, thanked everyone who has supported her and says she is looking forward to playing next year.

Billy also thanked his supporters and unfortunately will not return next year, because he will be playing college golf in Jacksonville, Fla.

Kyla Fiorina Chanet claimed top honors in the female Division II. Chanet carded a 328. Larue Dailleboust copped runners-up honors, shooting a 346.

Chanet shot rounds of 116, 108 and 104. Dailleboust finished the opening round with a 113. She followed with rounds of 113 and 120.

Gene Webster Jr. bounced back from third place during the opening round to championship honors in the male Division II category.

Webster shot a 78 during the first 18 holes. Kelly Autaubo, who finished second place, led the opening round with a 72. Len Necefer, who claimed third place, was in second place after the first 18 holes.

Webster carded a 75 and a 78, finishing four strokes ahead of Autaubo's 235. Autaubo posted an 85 and 78. Necefer carded a 78 and 84, finishing with a 238.

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