Cannon blasts past field at AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers
Salazar tops the Girls Division at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Will Cannon of Hoover, Ala., leads the AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers after the first round, firing a 4-under-par 68. Lauren Salazar of Santa Clara, Calif., leads the Girls Division with a 2-over-par 74.
The AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers is a 54-hole stroke play tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at the Valley Course of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham, Ala. The event features 51 boys and 20 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and South Korea. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,922 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 5,982 yards.
Cannon was able to birdie three of his last five holes, including back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 and 10. His tee shot on No. 10 was left of the fairway, but then he stuck it to 20 feet with his 8-iron to set up a birdie putt.
“I was just making everything,” Cannon said. “If I missed the green, then I got up-and-down. When I hit greens, it was easy to make the putt. But the tournament is not won after the first day. I have to go out and play two more rounds.”
Rylee Reinertson of Gibbon, Neb., is in second place with 1-under-par 71, and in a three-way tie for third are Michael Peter of Florence, Ala., Juan Gonzalez III of McAllen, Texas, and Hunter Arnold of Lenoir City, Tenn., who each shot an even-par 72.
Salazar played consistently, which she attributed to her strong putting. She said that she was able to make any birdie putt that was within 10 feet.
“I didn't make any big mistakes,” Salazar said. “If I made a bogey, then I made a birdie to make up for it. It was really steady play.”
In second place is Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell, Ga., who is one stroke behind with a 3-over-par 75. In a four-way tie for third at 4-over-par 76 are Janie Jackson of Huntsville, Ala., Alexandra Farnsworth of Nashville, Tenn., Lakareber Abe of Angleton, Texas, and Paula Hong of Duluth, Ga.
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 more than 40 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, 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 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information on the AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 294-6051 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.