Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team members lead at Bella Collina
Carlson, Brooks lead after first round of Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational
Montverde, Fla. — Corey Carlson of Green Cove Springs, Fla., took a two-stroke lead in the first round of the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational Saturday at Bella Collina. In the Girls Division, Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Fla., leads the field by three shots. Both Carlson and Brooks won events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series earlier this year, earning a spot on the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team.
The Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Bella Collina. 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, 15 states are being represented along with players from 11 foreign countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,784 yards while the Girls Division is being played at 5,890.
Carlson battled heavy rain and strong winds throughout the day and was the only player to break par in the first round. A rollercoaster of a round, he carded five birdies and four bogies en route to a 1-under-par 71.
“My short game was what saved me,” Carlson said. “I was really scrambling. It seemed like every time I would make a bogey, I'd come back and make a birdie right after that.”
Tied for second in the Boys Division are David Mackey of Bogart, Ga., and William Brueckner of Walnut Creek, Calif., each having carded a 1-over-par 73. Rounding out the top five in a tie for fourth are Carter Patterson of The Woodlands, Texas, and Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., each with a 2-over-par 74.
Brooks' round started with a 3-over-par front nine, but the Florida native battled back on the back nine, notching a 1-under-par 35. Her first-round 2-over-par 74 leaves her with a three-shot lead over the rest of the field.
“It was windier in the morning, so I think that's why my back nine was better,” Brooks said. “The weather made me focus more and really made me work on my mental game.”
In a three-way tie for second in the Girls Division are Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley, Calif., Grace Park of Cupertino, Calif., and Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas, each with a 5-over-par 77.
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 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 Boys Division will run from 8:30-11:10 a.m. off the No. 1tees at Bella Collina Sunday, Oct. 9., while Girls Division tee times will run from 9-10:20 a.m. off No. 10. For more information on the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 617-9917.