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Nebraska and Kansas Teen Golfers Win 47th Annual Trusted Choice® Big "I" National Championship

Tournament is one of nation’s largest junior stroke-play golf tournaments.

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, Aug. 7, 2015 – Haley Thiele of Wahoo, Nebraska, and Wells Padgett of Wichita, Kansas, won the girls and boys divisions, respectively, at the 47th annual Trusted Choice® Big "I" National Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The tournament featured 159 players from 41 states, British Columbia and Ontario with girls and boys under the age of 19 and was played at the Prairie Dunes Country Club. The girls division was played at a course rating of 77.1 and 5,686 yards, while the boys played the course at a 75.5 course rating and 6,818 yards.
Each summer more than 2,500 junior boys and girls nationally vie to earn a place in the final tournament. Approximately 100 state and local qualifying events determine the final roster.
“For 47 years, the Trusted Choice® Big ‘I’ National Championship has provided teenage golfers a wonderful opportunity to compete at a national level in a supportive atmosphere that cultivates sportsmanship,” says Steve Cocke, Big “I” chief financial officer. “We are proud of the tournament’s long-standing success and congratulate Haley Thiele, Wells Padgett, the finalists and the thousands of junior golfers across the United States and Canada who participated in the local and state tournaments this year.”
Thiele’s final round of five-over-par 75 resulted in her four day total of 287 for the tournament, to claim the girls’ division title and the Mayerstein Trophy. Padgett’s final round of five-over-par 75 resulted in his four day total of 285 for the tournament, to claim the boys’ division title and the Robert Trent Jones Trophy.
In the girls division, Dominique Galloway of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, placed second with a final round score of five-over-par 75, and a total tournament score of 288. Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster, Colorado, placed third with the low score of the final day at two-under-par 68, and a tournament total score of 291.
In the boys division, the second place winner was Riley Griffin of Providence, Rhode Island, with a final day score of three-over-par 73 for a tournament total score of 286. Ryggs Johnston of Libby, Montana, placed third with a final day score of nine-over-par 79 and a tournament total score of 288.
The Trusted Choice® Big "I" National Championship has proven to be a critical test for many of today’s golf professionals. PGA and LPGA fields include numerous past champions and participants, including:  Billy Andrade, David Duval, Charles Howell III, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson, Grace Park, Craig Stadler, Bob Tway, Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods and Fuzzy Zoeller.
The annual tournament is sponsored and supported by Trusted Choice®. The tournament began in 1969 and every year, more than 400 agents help organize and administer the qualifying tournaments that lead to the national championship. Independent agents donate valuable time, effort, and in many cases, personal resources to conduct successful local events.
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Trusted Choice® educates consumers about the benefits of using independent agents and brokers for their insurance needs: choice of companies, customized policies and advocacy support. Trusted Choice® is the consumer marketing identity for more than 25,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 69 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”), is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million independent insurance agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:
​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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