Wright capitalizes on hometown advantage to share lead at PING Phoenix Junior
Scottsdale's Weaver looks to extend streak in Girls Division
PHOENIX — Zachary Wright of Phoenix, Taylor Bromley of Dublin, Calif., and Taylor Zoller of North Charleston, S.C., each fired 3-under-par 69 to take a share of the lead at the 21st annual PING Phoenix Junior. Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Angel Yin of Arcadia, Calif., each carded a first-round 3-under-par 69 to jump ahead of the Girls Division going into the second round.
The PING Phoenix Junior is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix. The tournament field features 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and three countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,210 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 6,373 yards.
Wright, playing in his third consecutive PING Phoenix Junior, jumped out to an early lead after shooting a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine. The Phoenix native is familiar with performing well close to home as he won the 2011 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.
“It gives you experience,” said Wright of his familiarity of Moon Valley. “Previous rounds really help you out there.”
Bromley, like Wright, birdied three holes on the front nine.
“My short game held it together for me today,” Bromley said. “The greens were rolling really well.”
Zoller, recorded back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4, setting the tone for the rest of his round.
Michael Anderson of Phoenix, Austin Stadeli of Scottsdale, Ariz., Preston Flick of Douglasville, Ga., Henry Cunnningham of Litchfield Park, Ariz., James Lee of Albuquerque, N.M., Jason Chen of Brea, Calif., and Andrew Buchanan of Los Altos Hills, Calif., will enter the second round in a seven-way tie for fourth after recording 2-under-par 70.
Weaver, who is coming off a T5 finish at the Thunderbird International Junior at Grayhawk Golf Club, recorded four birdies on the day.
“I didn't make a lot of putts, but I hit some close wedge shots and that helped me,” Weaver said. “I feel a little more comfortable since I've played this course before and it's my hometown.”
Weaver, still searching for her first AJGA victory of 2011, has won an AJGA event every year between 2006 and 2010. The 2012 graduate has verbally committed to Notre Dame.
Yin, just 12 years old, is playing in her third AJGA event of the year and indicated the competition is helping her short game.
“The greens were fast in the first two events I played in,” Yin said. “I got used to the fast greens — I putted way better today because of that.”
Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, Calif., shot a 2-under-par 70 and finished the first round in sole possession of third place.
PING, a golf club manufacturer with the goal to help golfers play their best, has been an AJGA supporter since 1990 and began supporting the PING Phoenix Junior in 1991. PING, an Official Partner in 2002, provides the PING college golf signing day and in 2009, became the “Official Bag of the AJGA.”
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 more than 40 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.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
Second-round tee times for the PING Phoenix Junior will begin at 6:30 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Wednesday at Moon Valley Country Club. For more information about the PING Phoenix Junior, contact tournament headquarters at (585) 245-2782.