CHIN PLAYS BACK NINE 6-UNDER-PAR; LEADS AFTER FIRST ROUND
Hong's accuracy off the tee and in the fairways help her to lead first round
CROWN POINT, Ind. — John Chin of Temecula, Calif., leads the Boys Division at Indiana's Chicago Junior Open with a 6-under-par 66 after an impressive back nine performance. Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., posted a 2-under-par 70 to lead the Girls Division by two strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, Indiana's Chicago Junior Open is being held at the White Hawk Country Club — Red Hawk & Black Hawk Courses. Eighty-four junior golfers from 18 states, including 11 from Indiana, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.
Most players agree the back nine, which is the Black Hawk Course, has been the tougher of the two courses; Chin might disagree. He made the turn to the back nine at par 36, posting two birdies and two bogeys. An eagle on the par-4 No. 14, birdies on Nos. 10, 15 and 16 and a chip-in for birdie on No. 18, helped lead Chin to a 6-under-par 30 for the back nine.
Chin said he was surprised to come out and score as well as he did.
“I didn't expect it — that's for sure,” Chin said. “Everything just lit up on the back. It's a tougher side, I don't know how I did it.”
Tied for second in the Boys Division are Jace Long of Dixon, Mo., Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash., and Brendan Gielow of Muskegon, Mich., with 4-under-par 68s. Tied for fifth at 3-under-par 69 are Fletcher Coonan of Maitland, Fla., Michael Garden of St. Albans, Mo., Charlie Hendrickson of Columbus, Ohio, and Peter O'Neill of Carmel, Ind.
Though Chin had no problem with the back nine, Hong admitted she has a different opinion of the Black Hawk Course.
“It's a pretty tough course, especially on the back side,” she said. “The Black Hawk Course is extremely difficult, but it becomes more fun. It's a challenge; you have to strategize.”
Hong, despite carding a 2-under-par first-round score, said she thought she played “boring golf,” which is preferable for her.
“Overall, I had a really solid day,” she said. “I hit a lot of fairways and greens — pretty boring golf but that's how I like it.”
Becca Huffer of Denver, Colo., finished in second place after the first round with a par 72. Michelle Grilli of Lutherville, Md., and Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn., are tied for third with 1-over-par 73s.
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, the largest Association of its kind, 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, 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, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
Second-round tee times begin Thursday, July 7, at 7 a.m. off of Nos. 1 and 10 tees. Boys will start off both tees at 7 a.m. with girls starting off the No. 10 tee at 8:03 a.m. For more information about Indiana's Chicago Junior Open, call tournament headquarters at (219) 661-2323.