FITZPATRICK, ALESSI AND REDMOND IN CONTENTION FOR WIN AFTER FIRST ROUND AT BOYNE HIGHLANDS RESORT
Kim shoots even-par 72 to take lead for Girls Division
HARBOR SPRINGS, Mich. — Aaron Fitzpatrick of Orlando, Fla., Blake Redmond of Sugar Land, Texas and Matthew Alessi of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., fired 4-under-par 68s to lead the Boys Division after the first round of the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands. Leading the Girls Division is Stacy Kim of Yorba Linda, Calif., who carded an even-par 72.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Boyne Highlands Resort — Moor Course. The 144-player field features players from 24 states, South Korea, Mexico and Canada. The course is being played at 6,850 yards for the Boys Division and 6,079 yards for the Girls Division.
Fitzpatrick said the key to his round was putting and being in the right position. He used 14 putts on the front nine and 15 on the back nine on his way to six birdies.
“It helps when you stay steady and you're not up and down the whole time,” Fitzpatrick said. “I'll work on driving accuracy tomorrow.”
Alessi also agreed that the reason for his success was putting. He made four straight birdies on Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 17.
“Today everything came together,” Alessi said. “Hopefully I'll continue to stay loose and not get too uptight or think about it too much.”
Starting with a 5-under-par 31 on the back nine, Redmond said he hit a lot of irons close to the hole. He also said his “monumental” birdie on No. 18 kept him going throughout the rest of his round.
“I've been working on my swing a lot and it paid off today,” Redmond said. “I'll try to eliminate some of the little mistakes for tomorrow.”
Currently tied for fourth in the Boys Division are Jae Han Chun of Ansung-City, South Korea and Chan Kim of Honolulu, both shooting 3-under-par 69s.
In the Girls Division, first-round leader Kim said although her putting has been the best part of her game lately, rather than her drives, it was the opposite for her today. She said she played well on her first nine, making two birdies for a 1-over-par 37. She continued her strong play on her second nine, recording three birdies for a 1-under-par 35.
“I didn't have many mistakes,” Kim said. “I just wanted to try my best and par every hole.”
Tied for second in the Girls Division are Seo Hee Moon of Mukilteo, Wash., and Kelsey Conway of Ventura, Calif., each shooting 1-over-par 73s.
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 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. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Second-round tee times will run from 7:30-9:09 a.m. and 12:30- 2:09 p.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees of the Moor Course. For more information about the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands, please contact tournament headquarters at (231) 526-3103.