Carlson off to a stellar start in first AJGA event at Midwest Junior Players Championship
Three girls top the leaderboard after first round at The House on the Rock Resort - Springs Course
SPRING GREEN, Wis. — Leading after the first round of the Midwest Junior Players Championship in his first AJGA tournament event is Chad Carlson of Overland Park, Kan., who fired an opening round 5-under-par 67. In the Girls Division, three players sit atop the leaderboard as Kelly Grassel of Chesterton, Ind., Sara Detlefsen of Eagan, Minn., and Sylvie Brick of Frankfor, Ill., all carded a first round 2-over-par 74.
The Midwest Junior Players Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at the House on the Rock Resort — Springs Course in Spring Green, Wis. The tournament field includes 60 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states, Argentina, Thailand, South Korea, Italy and Indonesia. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,535 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,916 yards.
Carlson will enter Wednesday's second round with a one-stroke lead over his nearest competitor as he recorded seven opening round birdies.
“I just wanted to record a better score than my even-par 72 which I recorded in yesterday's practice round,” Carlson said. “I was able to hit a lot of greens and made some lengthy putts which helped me shoot a low number.”
Currently in second place after shooting a first round 4-under-par 68 is Tee-K Kelly of Wheaton, Ill. Tied for third place at 3-under-par 69 are Landon Kowalski of Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Jack Adolfson of Niwot, Colo. In a six-way tie for fifth place is Kraig McLeod of Pebble Beach, Calif., Ryan Jahn of Jupiter, Fla., Michael Nagy of Manistique, Mich., ByongJoon Park of Glenview, Ill., Nicholas McCall of Winnetka, Ill., and Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Ill who all recorded a 1-under-par 71.
In the Girls Division, Grassel, Detlefsen and Brick all own a one-stroke lead over their nearest competitor as they recorded opening round scores of 2-over-par 74.
Grassel was shooting even-par after 17 holes before finishing with a double-bogey on No. 18 placing her in a three-way tie for first place.
“I'm very happy with how I played today seeing that I did a lot of things very well,” Grassel said. “Even though I had a bad end to my round I'm happy with the majority of my game as I put myself in a great position to score well.”
Detlefsen, who is now tied for the lead in an AJGA event for the third time in her career, feels that she played well but knows that she has room to improve in the tournament's remaining two rounds.
“It's exciting to own a share of the lead after the first round,” Detlefsen said. “However, for the rest of the tournament I must continue to improve on my putting and driving accuracy to remain in this position.”
Brick took an alternate route to her first round 2-over-par 74 as she carded a 4-over-par 40 on the front nine before recovering with a 2-under-par 34 on the back.
“I must post a better front nine score in the next two rounds than what I posted today,” Brick said. “If I can get into a groove earlier I believe I will be fine throughout the rest of the tournament.”
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501c(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.
Second-round tee times for the Midwest Junior Players Championship will run from 7 a.m. — 8:48 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at The House on the Rock Resort — Springs Course. For more information about the Midwest Junior Players Championship contact Tournament Director Lindsay Dodge at (608) 588-7000 ext.640.