Stetson University golf signee Dirk Kuehler, a New Smyrna Beach native, took home first place in the 16-18 age group last week at the Junior PGA qualifier at Disney's Magnolia Course.
Kuehler finished at six under par for the two round event after posting rounds of 68 and 70. That was good enough for a two-shot win over Kevin Reilly. With the victory, Kuehler earned a spot in the national Junior PGA Championship, which will be held July 30 through August 2 at Trump National in Potomac Falls, Va.
Kuehler and Reilly, an Oveido native, were tied at four-under par for the tournament going into the final two holes, but Kuehler clinched the crown with consecutive birdies on the two par four holes.
Kuehler will have a chance to join an impressive list of past winners at the Junior PGA National Championship. Some on the list include Billy Andrade, Billy Mayfair, David Toms and Trevor Immelman. The last winner from Florida was T.J. Vogel in 2009.
Alessandra Kutz, a Stetson signee from Lake Mary, finished third on the girls side in the 16-18 group at three over par. Only the winners of the qualifying tournament advance to the national championship.