RAGLAND CARDS LONE SUB-PAR ROUND TO LEAD IN TAMPA
Wenglasz leads Girls Division at First American Title Junior
PALM HARBOR, Fla. â€” Carding the only sub-par round in the 84-player field, Toby Ragland of Jacksonville, Fla., fired a 1-under-par 70 to lead in the first round of the First American Title Junior Classic. Whitney Wenglasz of Oldsmar, Fla., established a slim 1-shot lead in the Girls Division with a 73.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the First American Title Junior Classic features 84 players, 63 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18 from 15 states. The Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort â€” Copperhead Course, home to the PGA TOUR Chrysler Championship, is hosting the 54-hole stroke play event for the first time in the event's seven year history.
Ragland played consistent golf throughout the day, paring 13 holes and making three birdies, to keep him in contention for the lead position.
â€śI played conservative and kept it in play,â€ť said Ragland, who hopes to capitalize on his lead and win an AJGA event. â€śI really wanted to get under par and my birdie on No. 18 allowed me to do that. I've led before, but hopefully I can seal the deal this time.â€ť
Within striking distance, Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla., and Andrew Brauer of Arlington, Texas, both carded a 71 to tie for secondâ€”1-shot away from the lead. Nicholas Smith of Ocala, Fla., defending champion Lion Kim of Lake Mary, Fla., Byron White of Bradenton, Fla., Mike Stern of Miami, Fla., and Troy Sidabras of Indialantic, Fla., are all tied for fourth at 72.
In the Girls Division, Wenglasz carded five consecutive pars followed by two birdies on the front-nine to leave her 1-under-par and in ideal position coming into the turn.
â€śMy short game was really good today,â€ť said Wenglasz, who took fifth place in last year's event. â€śI was getting up and down, but tomorrow I want to hit more greens. I just want to go out and play my game tomorrow.â€ť
Michelle Shin of Cape Coral, Fla., follows Wenglasz in a close second at 74. Three shots out of the lead, Courtney Figueroa of Naples, Fla., carded a 76 for third. Tied for fourth, Srixon Qualifier medalist Andrea Messer of Belleair, Fla., and two-time Rolex Junior All-American Dolores White of Lakeland, Fla., both recorded scores of 77.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
Second-round tee-times will run from 7:30-9:27 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at The Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort â€” Copperhead Course. For more information on the First American Title Junior Classic, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (727) 942-2000, ext. 2760.