Choi and Kwon lead Girls Division with first-round 70
SACRAMENTO, Calif. â€“Three California natives recorded first-round 67s, to take the lead in the Boys Division at the Nike Golf Junior at Haggin Oaks.Connor Green of Selma, Calif., Peter Gibbs of Granite Bay, Calif., and Jimmy Cacho of Green Valley, Calif., all share a one-stroke lead after their 5-under-par round.Diane Kwon of Fremont, Calif., and Wonjoo Choi of Murrieta, Calif., are tied for the opening round lead, carding first-round 70s, in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Haggin Oaks is a 54-hole stroke play event, being held at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex â€“ Arcade Creek Course. The tournament features 81 of the nationâ€™s premier junior golfers, ages 12-15, from 8 states, Mexico and Peru, including 69 players from California.
Green, 15, opened his round fast, with a birdie on his first hole of the day, No. 10.In all, he would make five birdies on his first nine, making consecutive birdies on Nos. 13 and 14, and then again on Nos. 16 and 17, recording a front-side 33.On his final nine, Green made two birdies including a chip-in on his final hole, No. 9, for a back-side 34, and first-round 67.
â€śI got off to a good start on my front-nine and made a lot of birdies,â€ť Green said.â€śI hit my wedges solid and my short game really helped me score today.â€ť
Cachoâ€™s first-round 67 was keyed by an eagle on the par-5 8th hole.After making back-to-back birdies on holes Nos. 6 and 7, he hit his second shot 5-iron to within five feet and sank the putt for eagle.The three-hole stretch enabled him to shoot a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine.Cacho would continue his hot play, with birdies on the 12th and 13th and then consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16.
â€śI hit a lot of fairways and greens today,â€ť Cacho explained. â€śI usually donâ€™t make too many long putts, but I made a lot of them from 15 to 20-feet today.â€ť
Gibbs was able to record his lowest round of his career, firing a first-round of 67. Starting on the back nine, Gibbs made birdies on the par-5 13th and the 17th hole for a front side 34.He went onto birdie his opening hole on the back-side, along with Nos. 7 and 8. Gibbsâ€™ 67, was the only bogey-free round recorded on the day.
Andrew Patipaksiri of Cypress, Calif., came in at 4-under-par 68, to finish the opening round in fourth.In a three-way tie for fifth, Andrew Yun of University Place, Wash., Mitchell Fedorka of Upland, Calif., and Bryan Pierce of Arroyo Grande, Calif., tallied 3-under-par 69s.In all, there were 17 boys who finished the first round with scores of under-par or better.
In the Girls Division, both Choi and Kwon were able to gain confidence after early birdies in the round.Choi opened her round with a birdie on her first hole, and then again on No. 3.She would add a birdie on the 8th hole for a 3-under-par 33. Her back-nine 37 included two bogies and a birdie on No. 11.
â€śThe birdie on the first hole gave me a lot of confidence the rest of the round,â€ť Choi remarked.â€śI only made one mistake on the day, so I feel good about my round.â€ť
Kwon also got off to a fast start with a birdie on the 2nd hole, leading to a front nine 36.On the back nine, she made consecutive birdies on holes on Nos. 13 and 14, and again on the 17th hole.Her only bogey on the back nine came at the finishing 18th hole, giving her a back nine of 2-under-par, 34.
â€śI like how the greens are rolling here,â€ť Kwon said. â€śIt was a big boost to my confidence, after I birdied No. 2.â€ť
Sarah Salvo of Glendale, Calif., finished her opening round in third place, after she shot a 1-under-par 71.
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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGAâ€™s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Associationâ€™s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
Second-round tee times will begin Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tee at the Haggin Oak Golf Complex â€“ Arcade Creek Course. For more information on the Nike Golf Junior at Haggin Oaks, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 617-2426.
The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
What is Leadership Links?
Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.
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.