BURGETT H. MOONEY, JR. ROME CLASSIC
Coosa Country Club
August 14-17, 2003
SUCHER FIRES CAREER-BEST 66 TO TAKE LEAD IN ROME
Wright takes two-stroke lead with first-round 70
Ga. -- Zack Sucher of Mobile, Ala., shot an opening-round
66 Friday at the AJGA Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic
to take a one-shot lead over Atlanta's Tim Schaetzel. Heather
Wright of Houston jumped out to a two-stroke lead in the
Girls Division with a two-under-par 70.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic features players from 13 states, including 39 from the Peach State. The 54-hole tournament, held at Coosa Country Club, returns to Rome for its eighth year.
Sucher is fresh off a tie for third at the AJGA Kroger Junior Invitational, where he shot rounds of 70-71-75-216 during the first week of August. Friday's round of 6-under-par 66 was the 2005 high school graduate's best score in a competitive round of golf.
"I only had 10 putts on the front nine," Sucher said. "I made all kinds of 10 and 20 footers, I just made everything. At Kroger everything was lipping out, but today they were all rolling in."
After starting out with two straight birdies, the 16-year-old added two more in the next seven holes to craft a bogey-free 32 on the front nine. Sucher's back nine was also bogey-free and was highlighted by birdies on Nos. 12 and 13.
Schaetzel's 67 stands alone in second, while Benjamin Kishigian of Warner Robins, Ga., and John Turnipseed of Rainbow City, Ala., fired 68s to finish the first round tied for third. Rounding out the Boys Division tied at fifth are Joshua Chong of Alpharetta, Ga., Justin Hare of Charleston, S.C., Nathan Spoon of Graham, N.C., and William Wilcox of Pell City, Ala., all at 3-under-par 69.
Wright's round saw her collect four birdies, including a blistering four-hole stretch in which she birdied three of the final four holes on the front nine.
"It felt good to finally sink some putts and be consistent with my game," Wright said. "My putter is really working for me and I'm putting my irons close."
Just two shots back of Wright is Sharla Cloutier of Niceville, Fla., who was 1-under par through 17 holes until a bogey on No. 18 put her back to even-par 72. Whitney Sylvan of Columbia, S.C., sits in third after an opening-round 74.
Second-round tee times will begin Saturday at 7:30 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at Coosa Country Club.
For more information on the AJGA Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic, please contact tournament headquarters at (706) 234-2200.