DAVIS AND BUSE SHARE BOYS DIVISION LEAD AT AJGA NATIONAL QUALIFIER
Four-way tie atop the leaderboard in Girls Division at Chateau Elan
BRASELTON, Ga. — Ryan Davis of Salem, Va., and Matt Buse of Loveland, Ohio, lead the Boys Division after shooting 2-under-par 69s in Sunday's opening round of the AJGA National Qualifier. Haley Millsap of Pace, Fla., Ashley Edwards of Oakley, Calif., Lauren Stratton of Spring Hill, Tenn., and Ana Garcia of Niceville, Fla., lead the Girls Division after firing 1-over-par 72s.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA National Qualifier is a 36-hole stroke play event being held at Chateau Elan — Chateau Course. The 72-player field features players from 18 states. The Boys Division is being played at 6,797 yards and the Girls Division is at 5,986 yards.
Davis started strong, recording two birdies on the first five holes and played solid golf throughout the rest of his round. Davis credits his experience to helping get him through the round.
“I have played in a couple of tournaments,” Davis said. “This time, I was not as nervous. Experience helped a lot.”
After bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3, Buse was able to rebound with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 en route to a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine.
“I held it together and stuck some good iron shots late on the front nine,” Buse said. “It's a good feeling to have a chance going into tomorrow.”
Daniel Brown of Memphis, Tenn., sits one stroke back of the leaders with a 1-under-par 70. John Welden of Pilot Mountain, N.C., and Robert DeHuff of Coto de Caza, Calif., stand two shots back after carding even-par 71s.
In the Girls Division, Millsap was able to calm down after carding two bogeys on the first three holes and shot 1-under-par on the remaining holes. She feels ready to attack the course tomorrow.
“After the second hole we saw that we were doing well, so we started to get more comfortable,” she said. “If I attack more pins tomorrow, I can make more putts and maybe get a little more shots to the green.”
Fourteen-year-old Brittany Mai of Poway, Calif., sits two shots back of the leaders in the Girls Division after a 3-over-par 74. Simone Strauss of Rancho Mirage, Calif., recovered from a front-nine 40 to shoot an even-par 35 on the back nine en route to a 4-over-par 75 to sit three strokes behind the leaders.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 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.
The final round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun Monday, May 28. For more information about the AJGA National Qualifier, please contact tournament headquarters at (770) 868-4200, ext. 1817.