Logjam At Top of Leaderboard After First Round of Golf Pride Junior Classic
Four tied in Boys Division, three tied in Girls Division at National Golf Club
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Cory Sciupider of Etowah, N.C., Andrew Decker of Greenville, N.C., and Cyrus Stewart of Raleigh, N.C., and Daniel Pizetoski of Davidson, N.C., all lead the Boys Division at National Golf Club at 1-under-par 71. In the Girls Division, Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu, Hawaii, Allison Emrey of Charlotte, N.C., and Chantakan Chanpalangsri of Boca Raton, Fla., lead at 2-over-par 74 after Tuesday's first round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Golf Pride Junior Classic is a 54-hole stroke play event held at National Golf Club. The field features 78 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states, Mexico, Thailand and Italy. The par-72 course is playing at 7,085 yards in the Boys Division and 6,215 yards in the Girls Division.
Sciupider had some close birdie calls Tuesday. He didn't miss a green until No. 16 and is aiming to execute the same plan tomorrow.
“I started out hitting to a foot on No.1 and made birdie,” Sciupider said. “No. 2, I left myself a 15-foot putt and made birdie, No. 3 lipped out for birdie and No. 4 lipped out for birdie. Tomorrow's plan is to hit greens, two putt and hopefully make some more birdies.”
Decker's tactic Tuesday was his putting first and drives in a close second. His focus of hitting the fairways and greens helped him sink seven birdies in the first round.
“I would have been happy with par but under par is awesome,” Decker said. “I am not leading. There are a ton of people behind me, so tomorrow I am just going to go out there and do my own thing, trying to keep hitting the fairways and greens.”
Stewart just stayed relaxed and focused on his game, leading him to two birdies on the front nine and two birdies on the back nine.
“I hit the ball really well,” Stewart said. “I had a couple of three putts, but that was the only bad part to my game. My ball striking was good. I drove the ball really well, hitting a lot of greens. I just want to keep playing comfortable and focused.”
Pizetoski sank four birdies and an eagle in stride to his leader position and is ready to continue that stride in the second round.
“There is a good field out there, I am just hoping to win,” said Pizetoski. “I know that I can still play better tomorrow because I still left some shots out there, so I am just going to keep playing my game and continue trying to hit the ball well.”
Tied for fifth in the Boys Division are A.J. Crouch of Jacksonville, Fla., Thomas Dunne of Dublin, Ohio, Trey Valentine of Melbourne, Fla., Hager Collins of Lexington, Ky., and Justin Cho of Norcross, Ga., at even-par 72.
In the Girls Division, Corpuz started the day with six straight pars and hit a total of 13 fairways and 8 greens to put her self into a tie for the lead.
“My chipping was really good today,” Corpuz said. “It helped me to make a lot of my up and downs.”
Emrey may not be familiar with the thick rough, but her steady game did not let her down on the back nine where she parred every hole.
“I just wanted to play steady and shoot a fairly low number,” Emrey said. “I am not used to the thick rough, but I like the layout of the course and really enjoyed playing it.”
Chanpalangsri carded nothing above par on the back nine and finished out her round with one of her two birdies on No.18.
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.
The second round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun, starting holes can be found on ajga.org. For more information, please contact the Tournament Director Kelli Holloway at 678-315-3446.