DOTTLEY TAKES LEAD AT CHATEAU ELAN WITH
2001 champion Lincicome heads tightly packed Girls Division at 1-under-par
BRASELTON, Ga. -- Will Dottley of Madison, Miss.,
carded a 2-under-par 69 Saturday on the Chateau Course to
take the first-round lead at the AJGA TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Junior at Chateau Elan. In the Girls Division, 2001 champion
Brittany Lincicome of Seminole, Fla., recorded a 1-under-par
71 on the Woodlands Course to sit atop the leaderboard.
The 36-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Chateau Elan Resort, features 168 players from 23 states and two foreign countries. Past champions of the tournament, which is in its 10th year, include professional standouts Beth Bauer, David Gossett and Charles Howell III.
Dottley emerged at the top of the strong boys' pack after racing out of the gate with four birdies in his first six holes. Pinpoint accurate approach shots were the key to Dottley's 3-under-par 33 on the front side.
"I didn't have many long putts because I was able to knock it tight," said the 18-year-old Dottley, who is set to attend the University of North Carolina in the fall on a golf scholarship. "I hit my irons really well, and it's important, because if you get on the wrong side of these greens you're lucky to three-putt."
An impressive group of eight players are just one shot behind Dottley at 1-under-par 70. The cluster includes Georgians Roberto Castro (Alpharetta); Chris Kirk (Woodstock); Luke List (Ringgold); and Ben Spickard (Roswell). Other players in the large contingent one stroke back of Dottley are Ben Leong of Bradenton, Fla; Martin Ureta of Santiago, Chile; Michael Young of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Chris Wells of Mobile, Ala.
In the Girls Division, the 17-year-old Lincicome paces a girls' field poised for an exciting Sunday finish. Twelve players are within four shots of the lead, including 2002 Polo Golf Junior Player of the Year In-Bee Park, who is just one shot off the lead.
Lincicome started strong by draining a lengthy birdie putt on the second hole, an intimidating 142-yard par 3 with a long carry over water. The putt moved her into red numbers and gave her an immediate confidence boost.
"It was at least 30-feet long, over a hill and breaking left to right," Lincicome said of her birdie look on the second hole. "Making birdies early in my round helps me relax a little bit. This one gave me a lot of confidence."
After her early birdie, Lincicome strung together eight consecutive pars before carding her second birdie of the day on the par-4 11th. Bogeys on two of the next four holes dropped her back to even par, but a late birdie on the par-4 16th gave her the lead and a place in Sunday's final pairing.
Knotted in a three-way tie for second at even-par 72 are Park, of Eustis, Fla.; Kelly Robb of Concord, Mass.; and Nicole Hage of Coral Springs, Fla. Rounding out the top five are Chris Brady of Cary, N.C.; and Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., at 1-over-par 73.
Final-round action at the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan gets under way at 7 a.m. Sunday. Boys tee times will end at 1 p.m. on the Chateau Course and girls tee times will run until 9:06 on the Woodlands Course. For more information, please contact AJGA Headquarters at (678) 425-6051.