10-Year-Old Golfer Qualifies For World Championships

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No fairway, rough or green is too challenging for 10-year-old Dean Harpe.

Evidence of the Frontier Elementary School fifth-grader's links prowess surfaced June 29 at Arizona State University Karsten Golf Course during the playing of a U.S. Kids World Qualifier.

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Dean Harpe (right) has qualified for the U.S Kids Golf World Championships in Pinehurst, N.C.

In it, Harpe, putted, swung and wedged his way to top honors in his age group by carding a 37 on the par 35 course.

The highlight of the round was the three birdies he tallied over the course of nine holes.

By winning the tournament, Harpe qualified for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, to be held Aug. 2 to 4 in Pinehurst, N.C.

The win at ASU also earned him a berth in the U.S. Kids regional championships, to be played in February 2008 in Jekyll Island, Ga.

Harpe said he plans to participate in both upcoming tournaments and has been earning money to fund the trips by cleaning golf clubs for donations at Payson Golf Course.

As impressive as Harpe's showing was in the World Qualifier, the showing wasn't his only top-notch effort of late.

His sterling summer of play teed off May 27 and 28 during the Junior Golf Association of Arizona Phoenix City Championships at Cave Creek Golf Course.

There, he finished eighth overall, while competing against some of the Valley's finest golfers.

On June 2, in a U.S. Kids tournament at Poston Butte Golf Club, he was first.

A week later, in another U.S. Kids fray at Bougainvillea, he took the bronze medals.

Participating June 15, 16 and 17 at the Antigua/Milt Coggins JGAA junior stroke play tournament, he posted a card of 123 during 27 holes. The effort earned him a second place finish and a berth into the prestigious PING AZ Jr. Match Play Tournament July 24 and 25 at Moon Valley Golf Club.

Harpe was also first during a June 25 Antiqua Tour tournament at Chaparral Pines and fifth a day later, at a U.S. Kids tournament at Orange Tree Golf Resort.

At the JGAA Thunderbird Classic June 27-28 at Mountain Shadows, he took sixth on a scorecard playoff.

During summer tournaments that allow caddies, Dean's father, Tom, or his mother, Yvette, usually shoulder those responsibilities.

"If it's a local tournament, I caddy," Yvette said. "At the World Qualifier, his father caddied."

Yvette admits Dean probably likes to have his father alongside him during the major tournaments, but when it comes to academics, she is the No. 1 tutor.

"If it's homework, he usually comes to me," she said.

In addition to Harpe playing golf on the state and national scene, he is a member of the Payson Little League 9-10-year-old All-Star team.

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