Theegala leads by one at Junior All-Star at Robinson Ranch
Cho, Yau share Girls Division lead going into the second round at Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley Course
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills, Calif., posted one of two sub-par rounds during first the 18 holes of play at the Junior All-Star at Robinson Ranch. San Diego native Sarah Cho and Tiffany Yau of Porter Ranch, Calif., share the lead in the Girls Division after each carding 2-over-par 74 on Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley course.
The Junior All-Star at Robinson Ranch is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association in Santa Clarita, Calif. The tournament field features 72 boys and 24 girls from 12 states and eight countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,594 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,704 yards.
The Junior All-Star at Robinson Ranch is one of 10 events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger players to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments.
Theegala combined a consistent front nine with a back nine that included three birdies to bring a 2-under-par 70 to the scoring tent.
“This course suits me well,” Theegala said. “I hit quite a few fairways and my ability to hit both a fade and a draw really helped me out.”
Jin Ho Chung of Cerritos, Calif., sits alone in second place, one stroke shy of Theegala while four sit tied for third with even-par 72: Gordon Neale of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge, Calif., Edward Wajda III of Brookfield, Wis., and James Trevino of Fresno, Calif.
Cho, 15, is looking for her second AJGA victory of the year after winning the 2011 Preseason Junior at Cypress Ridge. She got off to a promising start Tuesday, as she posted two birdies on the front nine.
“The birdies helped but I made a lot of par saves out there,” Cho said. “A 40-foot par putt on No. 17 was a good way to end the day. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to hit more greens in regulation and continue success with my putter.”
Yau, who is participating in her fourth AJGA event of the summer, struggled on the front nine with a 4-over-par 40, but found her rhythm in the latter half of the day with birdies on Nos. 14 and 16 and no bogeys.
“I thought the front nine was a bit of a struggle for me but I just kept trying,” said the 15-year-old. “My swing came together on the back nine.”
Patricia Wong of Walnut, Calif., and Michelle Xie of Palo Alto, Calif., sit one stroke back going into second-round play at 3-over-par 75.
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 naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series for juniors ages 12-15.
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, Rickie Fowler, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
Second-round tee times for the Junior All-Star at Robinson Ranch will run from 7:30 a.m. — 12:40 p.m. off the No. 1 tee, Wednesday at Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley Course. For more information, contact tournament headquarters at (770) 861-0519.