MEXICO NATIVE MALAGON LEADS GIRLS DIVISION AT MAYAKOBA JUNIOR GOLF CLASSIC
Frazzetta fires 4-under-par 66 to lead Boys Division at El Camaleón Golf Club
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Quintana Roo, Mexico — Eric Frazzetta of Long Beach, Calif., fired a 4-under-par 66 Saturday at El Camaleón Golf Club to lead the Boys Division at the Mayakoba Junior Golf Classic. In the Girls Division, Alicia Malagon of Tampico, Mexico, sits atop the leaderboard after carding a 1-under-par 70.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Mayakoba Junior Golf Classic is the AJGA's first Open event in Mexico. The field consists of 76 players, 19 of whom are from Mexico, as well as from 16 U.S. states and Canada. The 54-hole stroke play event is being held at El Camaleón Golf Club, which is being played at
6,911 yards, par 70 for the Boys Division and 6,047 yards, par 71 for the Girls Division. El Camaleón Golf Club is home to the PGA TOUR's Mayakoba Golf Classic, the first-ever TOUR event in Mexico.
Frazzetta got his round off to a strong start on the first hole of the day. After a poor approach into the green, he drained a 30-foot putt to make birdie. The shot gave him confidence in his putting, which Frazzetta says was the reason for his low round.
“My putting worked the best out there today,” Frazzetta said. “The greens were in great condition — not too bumpy — and I was able to make a lot of good putts.”
His early birdie gave Frazzetta momentum that resulted in two additional birdies on the front side, on
Nos. 4 and 7. Little changed when he made the turn, as Frazzetta carded three birdies in a row on holes 11-13. Despite his solid round, Frazzetta sees room for improvement in his game.
“I had some trouble chipping today, which is why I'm glad my putting was strong,” Frazzetta said. “If I can fix my chipping, hopefully I can have another low round tomorrow.”
Frazzetta has a three-stroke lead over Diego Castilla of Monterrey, Mexico, who shot a 1-under-par 69. Colby Smith of Auburn, Calif., Juan Pablo Hernandez of Mexico City, and Nicholas Gunthorpe of Ovid, Mich., are tied for third place after each carding even-par 70s.
In the Girls Division, Malagon shot an even-par 36 on the front nine and a 1-under-par 34 on the back side. Her consistent round featured 15 pars, two birdies and one bogey. On No. 11, she drove the ball 30 feet from the green and hit her approach shot three feet from the hole. Malagon credited solid ball-striking and good approach shots as the keys to her solid play, as well as a good mental attitude.
“I just take everything shot by shot,” Malagon said. “If you have one bad shot, you can't let it lead to a bad round. That's how I approached my round today.”
Malagon, who plays in Mexican Junior Golf Association events and represented her country at the Honda International Junior Championship in Japan last year, is excited to be atop the leaderboard at the first AJGA Open event in her home country.
“It is really cool to be leading this tournament,” Malagon said. “This is my country and I'm proud to represent it.”
Pearl Jin of San Gabriel, Calif., sits one stroke back at even-par 71. Lila Barton of Dallas, is in third place with a 1-over-par 72.
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 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.