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Up-and-coming golf star from Overland Park qualifies for U.S. Girls Junior Nationals

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Golf can be an unforgiving sport to learn, except for the game's best players.

One of the sport's up-and-coming stars hails from the Kansas City metro. Pound-for-pound, Julia Misemer might be the best amateur player in town.  She's about to play in one of the nation's top events.

It all comes down to practice, and for Misemer, 13, golf is nearly perfect.

"It's just so much fun," Misemer grinned.

For junior golfers like Misemer, who is a year away from attending high school at Blue Valley West, fun adds up to championships. She's already won more than 100 amateur tournaments. Misemer's victory in late June qualifies her for the U.S. Girls Junior Nationals, where she could be recognized as the best teenage golfer in the nation.

"It's super exciting. I didn't expect to qualify for it. I'm just excited," Misemer said on Friday morning.

To get there, Misemer shot a 75 (+3) in a qualifying tournament at Swope Park, barely outswinging 20 other girls. Misemer needed an important birdie putt on the 17th green to take a one-shot lead over a large group tied for second place on the leaderboard. To say that she's stoked for Junior Nationals would be an understatement.

"If I can get past the first two days, that would be great. If I get past then, I know I can have a chance at winning," Misemer said.

Garret Walker, head professional at Brookridge Golf and Fitness, is also Misemer's swing coach. He's watching her grow in the game, where she often scorches her driver to 250 yards, which is a huge tee shot for a golfer her age.

"She's really good. She has a ton of potential to make it to the next level, for sure -- not only college, but professionally too. It's exciting to see," Walker said.

U.S. Junior Nationals could build some serious momentum for Misemer After all, that's an event that Tiger Woods once won as a teenager. Her recent victories have her family and coaches wondering how far her drive can go.

"If she can stay motivated and humble, she should play professional," Walker said.

Misemer said she dreams of playing college golf at a major university before thinking about the pro game.

"For professional golf, that would be amazing, but just taking it right now first," Misemer said.

To pass the next obstacle, Misemer will need to keep her eye on the ball. At Brookridge, each range ball has a one-word message she's taking to heart -- practice.

The U.S. Girls Junior Nationals begin on July 24th in Augusta, Missouri. In the meantime, Misemer plays each weekend on the U.S. Kids Golf Tour at various golf courses around Kansas City.​