BARRETT LEADS FIRST ROUND AFTER CARDING 2 EAGLES
Altomare, Littman, Arena in 3-way tie for lead in Girls Division
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — Patrick Barrett of Pinehurst, N.C., fired a 7-under-par 65 to lead the Boys Division after the first round of the AJGA Richmond Junior at Independence Tuesday. Brittany Altomare of Shrewsbury, Mass., Amber Littman of Stoney Creek, N.C., and Victoria Arena of Lansdale, Pa., are in a three-way tie at 72 for the lead in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Richmond Junior at Independence is a 54-hole stroke-play competition in its third year featuring 99 boys and girls from 15 states. Independence Golf Club is hosting the event for the second consecutive year.
Barrett, who was only l-under-par at the turn, carded two eagles on the back nine to seal the lead position at 7-under-par 65.
“I eagled No. 13 with a 4-iron to the green and made the putt. That got my momentum going.” Barrett said. “After I birdied No. 16, I put a 3-wood to three feet and made the putt for eagle.”
Barrett, who only played the front nine during his practice round, contributed his successful round to his putter.
“My driver was the weakest part of my game, but I putted really well,” Barrett said, whose putts were mostly inside 15 feet. “I was up and down on the front nine, but more consistent on the back nine. I didn't know the backside so I relied on what I saw.'”
Heading into the second round, Garland Green of Tazewell, Va., and Nicholas Mullhaupt of Bradenton, Fla., are tied with 4-under-par 68s, while Vincent Nadeau of Edmond, Okla., and Peter Wilson of Old Westbury, N.Y., are tied for fourth with 69s.
In the Girls Division, Altomare attributed her low round to her accuracy off the tee as well as to her solid putting. She birdied three of the four par-5s and also carded a birdie on par-4 No. 12.
“I was hitting my driver and irons really well, especially my wedges,” Altomare said. “I putted well and all my drives were pretty much down the middle.”
Littman, who played Independence Golf Club once two years ago at the Mid-Atlantic Challenge, hit 15 fairways and 10 greens to card even-par 72.
“I was hitting my approach shots close and only had to putt from around 10 feet,” Littman said.
Arena, after starting out with a bogey on the first hole, birdied Nos. 2 and 3 to continue on to a low round 72.
“The birdie putt on No. 2 got everything back on track,” Arena said. “I drove the ball better than I have been.”
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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual 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 is in 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 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The second round of the AJGA Richmond Junior at Independence will be held Wednesday, July 12, with tee times beginning at 7:00 a.m. off of the No. 1 tee. For more information on the AJGA Richmond Junior at Independence contact tournament headquarters at (804)897-8641 ext. 130 or Tournament Director Whitney Ross at (770) 861-0519.