TEWES AND HONG LEAD AFTER FIRST ROUND AT WHISPER CREEK
Tewes and Hong battle winds to secure No. 1 spots
HUNTLEY, Ill. — Benjamin Tewes of Lincoln, Neb., fought gusty winds to take the lead in the Boys Division with a 1-over-par 73 at the first round of the Midwest Junior Players Championship. Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., leads the Girls Division after opening with a 3-over-par 75.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Midwest Junior Players Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Whisper Creek Golf Club. The tournament features 74 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states.
Tewes' 73 came as a result of a four-birdie, 10-par round. Tewes agreed that the course was windy, but he used skill and precision to secure his current first-place position.
“The course was windy, but it is also in really good shape,” Tewes said. “My strategy with it being so windy was to hit fairways and greens and give myself the opportunity to make birdies.”
Sitting one stroke behind Tewes are Mike Ott of Highland Park, Ill., James Byrd of Windermere, Fla., and Andrew Hopkins V of Maumelle, Ark., with 74s. Tied for fifth place with scores of 76 are Ben Murphy of Dunlap, Ill., and Brian Larson of Rochester, Minn.
Hong's steady round of 75 included nine pars on the front side for an even-par 36 and four more pars and one birdie on the back side. Hong, who won both the Windy City Junior and the Subaru Open at Andover in 2004, was pleased with her score despite the difficult weather conditions.
“It was very, very windy and that's all I have to say,” Hong said. “I was pretty consistent all day and I think a 75 is a pretty good score when playing in this much wind.”
Stephanie Connelly of Pasadena, Md., stands alone in second place after a 37-39—76 performance. Tied for third are So-Hyun Park of Bradenton, Fla., and Jennifer Cassidy of Dalton, Ga., who both shot 77s. Defending champion Jennie Arseneault of Grinnell, Iowa, sits in fifth after a 6-over-par 78.
The second round of the Midwest Junior Players Championship begins Wednesday with tee times starting at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the Midwest Junior Players Championship, please call the Tournament Headquarters at (847) 515-7682, ext. 7325.