FOUR-WAY TIE LEADS BOYS DIVISION AT NORTHWOOD CLUB
Barton, Wadhwa take commanding lead in Girls Division
DALLAS- Six-under-par 65 was the popular score in Tuesday's first round of the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship. Four teams are tied atop the Boys Division leaderboard including 2005 champion Brett Spencer of Plano, Texas. Lila Barton of Dallas, and Tanya Wadhwa of Bradenton, Fla., lead the Girls Division by six strokes after first-round play.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship is a 54-hole team event held at Northwood Club located in Dallas. The tournament features 30 teams of boys and six teams of girls — ages 12-18 — from 11 states. The field includes nine Rolex Junior All-Americans.
The players competed in a modified Scotch format, under which each player hits his/her own tee shot, then plays his/her teammate's ball for the second shot. The team then chooses which ball it would like to play out and continues under alternate shot format until the ball is holed.
Spencer teamed with first-year participant Alex Moon of Dallas, and the pink-clad team said the team combination is just what they needed for a good round.
“Play is easier, it helps you stay positive,” said Spencer. “It's nice, when you mess up; there is someone there to help.”
Competing in the foursome with Moon and Spencer were Josh Jones of The Colony, Texas, and Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla., who also finished the day at 6-under-par. Looking towards the second round, Jones said his team is going to take one shot at a time.
“Wednesday is best-ball, we are going to play our own and see what happens,” Jones said.
First-time participants Jason Cohan of Wayne, Pa., and Amory Davis of Winston-Salem, N.C., are also leading after first-round play and are looking to have a solid second round.
“Wednesday, we are going to try to give ourselves more birdie chances,” Cohan said. “We play where one person attacks and one plays conservative.”
Cody Gribble of Dallas, and Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., round out the leader boy groups. Gribble and Reed are second-year partners and said they love this tournament because it is a change from normal play.
“This way is more fun, not just hitting your own ball all the time,” Reed said.
Rounding out the Boys Division top five are Clark Mitzner of McKinney, Texas, and his partner Travis Woolf of Fort Worth, Texas, holing out with a five-under-par 66. Also carding a 66 were Eric Durbin and Collin Mayer, both of Houston.
Barton will look to claim her third consecutive tournament title this week with Wadhwa. The duo birdied three straight holes on the back nine and will look to continue their success in the second round.
“When we play well together anything can happen,” Barton said. “Tomorrow we are just trying to give ourselves more birdie opportunities,” Wadhwa said.
In second place are Sarah Zwartynski and Lindsay Cullen both of Allen, Texas, with a score of 73. Carolyn Balfour and Kelsey Rockey of Southlake, Texas, stand alone in third place with a 77.
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 an annual 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 is in 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The second round of the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship will be held Wednesday, June 28 at Northwood Club beginning at 9 a.m. For more information please contact Tournament Director, Jeremy Freyman at (678) 617-9917.