Blessings Golf Club
Fayetteville, Ark. • July 28 - 31

Flesher shoots opening-round 72 to take the lead at the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Julie Yang of Phoenix, carded six birdies to help her take the lead in the Girls Division at even-par 72 Tuesday at the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings. Andrew Flesher of Little Rock, Ark., also posted an even-par 72 to lead the Boys Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Blessings Golf Club. The tournament field consists of 99 players, 75 boys and 24 girls, from 15 states. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,832 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,812 yards.

At 13, Yang is the youngest player in the Girls Division. Off to a consistent start with three straight pars following her opening birdie on No. 1. Her dependable iron play helped her to her low first-round score.

“My short game was really put together today,” Yang said. “I stuck it close to the hole and because of that I didn't have any long putts, or three putts.”

Yang, who is tied for 38th in the Polo Golf Ranking, also credits her low score to her clear thinking.

“Golf is a mental game,” Yang said. “If you start thinking negatively, then it won't help you, so I had no doubts out there.”

One stroke behind Yang at 1-over-par 73 sits Sarah Beth Davis of Victoria, Texas. In third is Haley Sanders of Rogers, Ark., at 3-over-par 75.

In the Boys Division, 16-year-old Flesher came back with a fresh start after his vacation to see relatives in New York. After being able to take some time to relax, Flesher claimed to have never been as on with his mental game as he was during the first round.

“I was very laid back and focused today,” Flesher said. “I wasn't overly confident, but I came to the first tee telling myself I was going to play well.”

Along with his mental game, Flesher's work on the greens was up-to-par as well.

“My putting helped my game today as well,” he said. “I sank a 40-footer on No. 6 to save par after I hooked it left into the hazard.”

Drew Czuchry of Auburn, Ga., sits in second at 1-over-par 73. In a four-way tie for third at 3-over-par 75 are Colton Staggs of Tulsa, Okla., Kyle Wilshire of Georgetown, Ky., Jesse Droemer of Sealy, Texas, and Sean Romero of Texarkana, Ark.

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 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.

Second-round tee times will run from 7:30 a.m. — 12:50 p.m. off the No. 1 tee Wednesday. For more information about the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings please contact tournament headquarters at 770-861-0519.

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