HEBERT GRABS ONE-STROKE LEAD IN FIRST ROUND OF HORSESHOE BEND JUNIOR CLASSIC
Na and Stewart lead the Girls Division by two strokes at Horseshoe Bend Country Club
ROSWELL, Ga. — Michael Hebert of Orlando, Fla., finished the first round of the Horseshoe Bend Junior Classic with a 2-under-par 68 to lead the Boys Division by one stroke. Grace Na of Oakland, Calif., and Alexandra Stewart of Carson City, Nev., are the first-round leaders in the Girls Division after recording 1-over-par 71s Saturday at Horseshoe Bend Country Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Horseshoe Bend Junior Classic is a 36-hole stroke play event being held at Horseshoe Bend Country Club. The tournament field consists of 51 boys and 27 girls, ages 12 to 18, from 18 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Northern Ireland. The Boys Division is playing the par-70 layout at 6,610 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 5,974 yards.
Hebert did not feel like his round was off to a good start after he three-putted for bogey on the 10th hole, his first of the day. The 17-year-old came back on No. 14 with a birdie and carded another birdie on the third hole to finish with a 2-under-par 33 on his last nine holes.
“I felt like I hit it well and had good speed on the greens,” Hebert said. “Tomorrow I'm just going to have fun, play golf and try not to think about winning.”
Also atop the Boys Division leaderboard in second is Franco Castro of Alpharetta, Ga., with a 1-under-par 69. In third is Keith Mitchell of Chattanooga, Tenn., with an even-par 70. Bo Andrews of Raleigh, N.C., Alex Carpenter of Little Rock, Ark., and Robert Galbreath, Jr., of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., are all tied for fourth with 1-over-par 71s.
Na, who has never led an AJGA event, felt the luckiest part of her day came when she made a 50-foot putt for birdie on the 13th hole. The 15-year-old changed her swing recently and does not just feel better about her game, she feels better about herself. Na realizes that her attitude has changed a lot since she started playing with the AJGA.
“There were some club selections I regretted today but what I didn't regret was my attitude,” Na said. “I hit the best shots I could and tomorrow I won't do much different and I'll just take it shot by shot.”
Stewart hit a good drive on the seventh hole to end up making a five-foot putt for birdie. The 15-year-old tried not to make many mistakes and credits her putting as the key to her consistent first round.
“I just took it hole by hole,” said Stewart. “It feels good to be tied for the lead and I'm going to work on my putting to try and make some more birdies tomorrow.”
Stacey Kim of Columbus, Ga., and Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., round out the Girls Division leaderboard tied for third with a 3-over-par 73.
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 49 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 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.
Final round tee-times for the Horseshoe Bend Junior Classic will run from 8 — 9:48 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Sunday. For more information, please call (770) 992-2310 and ask for the AJGA Tournament Headquarters.