Romano Jumps Ahead at the Genesis Junior at White Beeches
Morales has early lead in Girls Division at White Beeches Golf & Country Club
HAWORTH, N.J. — Andrew Romano of Depew, N.Y., tallied an impressive 6-under-par 65 to take an early lead in the Genesis Junior at White Beeches. In the Girls Division, Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y., carded a 3-under-par 68 to finish atop the first-round standings.
The Genesis Junior at White Beeches is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at White Beeches Golf & Country Club in Haworth, N.J. The tournament field boasts 78 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states, Canada, South Korea, China and the United Kingdom. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 course at 6,510 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,995 yards.
Romano had eight birdies on the day, including five on the front nine.
“I didn't even hit a lot of fairways today,” Romano said. “I just got it on the green and made the putts. I had 20 putts today, so if it was on the green, it went in. I was really fortunate with that today.”
Romano was excited about his solid first round and optimistic for the remainder of the tournament.
“This is my first AJGA event, so to be able to contend at this level is a lot of fun,” Romano said. “I hope I can keep it going for the rest of the week.”
Tied for second, shooting 3-under-par 68, are Harrison Shih of Saddle River, N.J., and Matthew Lowe of Farmingdale, N.Y. Rounding out the top five with scores of 2-under-par 69 are Christopher Hickman of Centreville, Md., Christopher Crawford of Bensalem, Pa., Stephen Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., Kristian Caparros of Miami Lakes, Fla., and ByongJoon Park of Glenview, Ill., all with a share of fourth place.
In the Girls Division, Morales had five birdies on the day. She credits her success in the first round to her strong iron shots and putting.
“I played great today,” Morales said. “I had back-to-back birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, both putts longer than 20 feet, which got my momentum going. I didn't make many mistakes today, and that is a great way to start the tournament.”
Finishing in second with a score of even-par 71 was Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario. Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division are Cindy Ha of Demarest, N.J., Lauren Kim of Los Altos, Calif., and Anne Cheng of Torrance, Calif., shooting a 1-over-par 72.
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.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, 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 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.
The second round of the Genesis Junior at White Beeches will start at 7:30 a.m. off the No. 1 tee Wednesday. For more information about the Genesis Junior at White Beeches, please contact Tournament Director Kelli Holloway at (678) 315-3446.