Austin-Native Nolen Leads at Stars of Texas Junior All-Star
Jones, Perez Share Lead in Girls Division at Grey Rock Golf Club
Austin, Texas — Stratton Nolen of Austin, Texas leads the Boys Division after carding a 4-under-par 68 in the first round of the Stars of Texas Junior All-Star. Kayla Jones of Alpharetta, Ga., and Mackenzie Perez of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., each posted a 2-over-par 74 to sit atop the Girls Division at the Grey Rock Golf Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Stars of Texas Junior All-Star is a 54-hole stroke play event, held at Grey Rock Golf Club in Austin, Texas. The 77-player field features 63 boys and 14 girls from 14 states, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and China. The boys are playing the par-72 course at 6,606 yards, and the girls are playing the course at 5,859 yards.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. The series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Nolen described his opening holes as a little slow, but caught fire on No. 7, making three consecutive birdies en route to a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine. Nolen birdied three of the four par-5's Tuesday and tallied seven birdies total to take the lead at his home course.
“I was hitting good approach shots and played the par-5's really well today.” Nolen said. “I know that every hole has opportunity to make birdie so I just stayed focus.”
Colin Frizzell of Nacogdoches, Texas, is one stroke short of the lead in second. Alex Levy and William Martinez of Austin, Texas sit in third and fourth, respectively. Maxwell Miller of College Station, Texas, and Bernardo Curbelo of Bradenton, Fla., are tied for fifth.
In the Girls Division, Jones credited her round to solid putting and chipping, making a 12-foot putt on No. 18 to close the round.
“I hope to make more pars tomorrow but if I make a birdie that's great too, I just need to keep my short game going,” Jones said.
Perez sunk a birdie putt on No. 9 — a putt that put her at even-par 36 on the front and gave her confidence going into the final nine holes.
“My putts and drives saved me today,” Perez said. “Everything went really well and consistent because I was focused.”
Brooke McDougald of The Woodlands, Texas, finished in third for the Girls Division at 4-over-par 76.
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.
Second-round tee times for the Stars of Texas Junior All-Star will run from 7:30 — 9:18 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Grey Rock Golf Club. For more information about the Stars of Texas Junior All-Star, please contact Tournament Director AJ Donaldson at (678) 386-1487.