Schauffele, Texeira, Forss Tied After First Round of the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior
Valerio leads the Girls Division at Dinah Shore Tournament Course
Rancho Mirage, Calif. — In triple-digit temperatures, a trio of boys managed to shoot 3-under-par 69 in the first round of the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior. Xander Schauffele of San Diego, Jonah Texeira of Northridge, Calif., and Alexander Forss of Temecula, Calif., are tied for the first place position. In the Girls Division, Veronica Valerio of Temecula, Calif. sits atop the leaderboard with a 2-under-par 70.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior is a 54-hole stroke-play event held at Mission Hills Country Club on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. The 78-player field features 51 boys and 27 girls from five states, Argentina, and Thailand. The Boys Division is playing from 7,101 yards and the Girls Division is playing from 6,177 yards.
Schauffele has been working on his shot routine to allow him to make shots under pressure. His iron play led him to four birdies during his round. Schauffele says he is confident going into tomorrow's round.
“My short irons were good today. I had good distance control,” Schauffele said. “I was able to make my birdies because of my iron shots.”
Forss, who will attend Pepperdine University in the fall, is excited to be a leader in what he says is his favorite junior golf tournament. He tallied five birdies on Nos. 6, 8, 10, 11 and 18. Forss had an overall solid round; he attributed his performance to his steady short game and taking one shot at a time.
“I didn't have any crazy good shots, I was just putting well and made everything I saw,” Forss said. “I have been leading on this tour before and know what I need to do to execute my game.”
In fourth place in the Boys Division with a 2-under-par 70 is Daniel Covrig of Modesto, Calif. There is currently a six-way tie for fifth place. With a score of 1-under-par 71 are Kevin Lee of Cerritos, Calif., J.J Holen of Casatic, Calif., Brian Alle of Pacific Palisades, Calif., Brian Campbell of Irvine, Calif., Alex Angard of Encino, Calif., and Ben Steinen of La Quinta, Calif.
In the Girls Division, Valerio, the 2008 ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior Champion, had three birdies and only one bogey. She hopes to hit more greens in the upcoming rounds, and to keep making putts. She was able to get out of some bad situations to save par and generate a low round.
“On No. 15 I hit my chip too far, but my putting saved me,” Valerio said. “When I was in the trees a few times, I had some good shots to save par.”
There is a three-way tie for second place in the Girls Division. Kaitlin Park of Tustin Ranch, Calif., Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., and Gabriella Then of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., all sit at even-par 72.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior at Mission Hills Country Club, please contact tournament headquarters at 678-617-2424.