PARK TAKES LEAD BY TWO STROKES AT AJGA JUNIOR AT KINGSMILL RESORT & SPA
Harin Lee and Rohrback jump off to early lead in the Girls Division at Kingsmill Resort & Spa River Course
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. Ji Soo Park, 17, of Centreville, Va., holds a two-shot lead in the Boys Division after carding a 5-under-par 66 Tuesday at the AJGA Junior at Kingsmill Resort & Spa. Harin Lee, 16, of Bayside, N.Y., and Kaitlyn Rohrback, 17, of Crofton, Md., completed the first round tied at even-par 71 to lead the Girls Division at Kingsmill Resort & Spa River Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at Kingsmill Resort & Spa is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Kingsmill Resort & Spa River Course in Williamsburg, Va. The field features 96 boys and 35 girls, ages 12-18, from 25 states, Canada and China. The par-71 course is being played at 6,826 yards for the Boys Division and 5,797 yards for the Girls Division.
Park played a consistent round carding only one bogey. After starting slow on the front nine due to nerves, Park quickly gained momentum making birdies on Nos. 4 and 6 to finish the front side at 1-under-par 35. After making a birdie on No. 13, Park carded consecutive birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 to finish the back at 4-under-par 31. Park was able to contain the excitement of making birdies and instead of rushing his tee shots, he was able to stay in control. Park felt No. 16, the 459-yard par 4, was the defining moment of his day. After keeping his drive in the fairway, Park used a 9-iron to drive the ball to a foot for an easy tap-in birdie. Park followed up by making a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 17.
Going in with the lead, I just want to play my game and not focus on winning, Park said. My driver and irons were really working well for me today. I just need to focus on my putting the rest of the week. My goal is to have only about 26 putts.
Carding a 3-under-par 68 and in second is Bryce Chalkley of Richmond, Va. In a tie for third at 2-under-par 69 is Landry Haynes, of Gainesville, Ga., and Jordan Sweet of Bowie, Md. Rounding out the Boys Division in fifth is Brandon Dalinka of Newtown, Pa., at even-par 71.
In the Girls Division, Lee counted on her irons to zero in on the green, allowing her to overcome several three putts. The accuracy of Lee's iron play will allow her to rely on them more going into the second round. In all, Lee birdied Nos. 7, 13 and 15. On the par-3 139-yard No. 13, Lee hit a solid iron shot off the tee to about three feet, allowing her to tap in for the birdie.
I had several three putts today so I really want to work on my putting going into tomorrow, Lee said. I just want to focus on playing my best and try to keep my momentum going.
Rohrback felt she was hitting her driver really well, which she believes the course calls for. After carding only one birdie on the front nine, Rohrback started her back nine strong by carding a birdie on three of the first four holes, No. 10 and back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13. On No.12, a 348-yard par 4, Rohrback scored a long 30-foot putt for birdie. Rohrback followed up by hitting her tee shot on No. 13 to two feet and made the birdie putt. Rohrback, who recently won the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior, feels like the pressure is off her now to perform well and is looking forward to tomorrow.
I had several good birdie opportunities and fortunately I was able to capitalize on them, Rohrback said. When I got into trouble today, I played it safe and tried not to be heroic and it worked out for me.
Sitting two shots back of the Girls Division leaders in third are Lauren Salazar of Santa Clara, Calif., Suzie Lee of East Northport, N.Y., and Lauren Coughlin of Chesapeake, Va., at 2-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 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 50 states and more than 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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 for the AJGA Junior at Kingsmill Resort & Spa will run from 7:30 9 a.m. and noon 1:30 p.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Wednesday, August 25, at Kingsmill Resort & Spa River course. For more information about the AJGA Junior at Kingsmill Resort & Spa please contact Tournament Director Kelli Holloway at (678) 315-3446.