Edwards, Proctor Take Early Lead at Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational
Owen has two-shot cushion after 18 holes at Mission Inn Resort & Club
Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. — Eric Edwards of Salisbury, N.C., and Colin Proctor of Anderson, Ind., lead the way in the Boys Division after the first round of the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational. Both boys sit at 2-under-par 69 going into Sunday's second round. In the Girls Division, Michaela Owen of Alpharetta, Ga., has sole possession of the lead after firing a 1-under-par 70.
The Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event being held on the Las Colinas Course at Mission Inn Resort & Club. The 78-player field is made up of junior boys and girls, ages 12-15, who have had success in this season's Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. In all, 20 states are represented along with players from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 course at 6,582 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 5,663.
Edwards' Junior All-Star experience stems from two events in 2010 with his best finish coming at the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star where he placed seventh. He credited today's successful round to a solid front nine performance that included back to back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7.
“I capitalized on the par-3s on the front nine and everything just started to click,” Edwards said. “It's fun to come to an Invitational and see how you measure up to the top juniors around the world.”
Proctor came into this tournament with a win on his mind. He started No. 1 with a birdie and never went above par for the remainder of the day.
“This course really fits my game,” said Proctor. “I hit a lot of 3-woods and putted pretty well. I'm happy with my score, although I lipped out three birdie putts so I want to capitalize more tomorrow.”
Standing alone in third at 1-under-par 70 is William Martinez of Austin, Texas. In a three-way tie for fourth is Julian Lerda of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Kendrick Vinar of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Bernardo Curbelo of Bradenton, Fla. at even-par 71.
In the Girls Division, Owen's relaxed demeanor helped her to a solid round that puts her two strokes ahead of the competition.
“I had a lot of fun out there today,” Owen said. “My competitors were great and I really just played a low-pressure round.”
With greens that fit her putting style, Owen notched three birdies that included two 20-foot putts on the par-4 9th and the par-5 13th.
“Being invited to this event gives you a chance to measure yourself up with the best of the best,” Owen said. “I will go into tomorrow with the same mindset as today and have as much fun as possible with this experience.”
In a three-way tie for second is Natalia Forero of Cali, Colombia, Alexandra Sborov of Pleasanton, Calif., and Minjia Luo of San Diego, with rounds of 1-over-par 72.
Founded in 1912, Montverde Academy is an independent college preparatory school located in Montverde, Florida. The Academy prepares junior golfers, student athletes and students from across the world with world-class academics and nationally-recognized athletic programs.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time signature golf instruction program located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (352) 324-3926 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.