NATIONWIDE INSURANCE JUNIOR
PRESENTED BY THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
The Country Club at Muirfield Village
Dublin, Ohio • July 30 - August 2
FITZPATRICK, JANDEL SHARE FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT 5-UNDER-PAR
DUBLIN, Ohio — Aaron Fitzpatrick of Orlando, Fla., and Sam Jandel of Dayton, Ohio fired 5-under-par rounds of 67 Tuesday to take the first-round lead in the Boys Division at the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament. Hunter Ross of Manakin-Sabot, Va., carded a 1-over-par 73 and will take a one-shot lead in the Girls Division into Wednesday's second round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament is a 54-hole stroke-play event being held at The Country Club at Muirfield Village. The
98-player field features players from 19 states and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the event at 6,812 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,084 yards.
Fitzpatrick used pinpoint iron accuracy to produce his opening-round 67, as he made seven birdie putts from within eight feet. Though he recorded three straight bogeys on Nos. 9-11, Fitzpatrick stuck another approach shot to make birdie on No. 12, allowing him to regain momentum and finish the round with four birdies over his final seven holes.
“I knew when I made those bogeys that I could come back around and make birdies,” Fitzpatrick said. “I made a couple bad swings, but I was able to turn it around and finish strong.”
Jandel, who finished fifth at last month's SAP Junior Open, was able to record his lowest 18-hole round in AJGA competition behind the strength of four birdies and an eagle. Though he finished with a bogey-free 33 on the back nine, Jandel said he relied on his putter to scramble for par on several holes.
“I made it a lot harder on myself than it should have been,” Jandel said. “I wasn't too confident in my putter coming into this week, but I built it up a lot today and hopefully, I can have another good round with my putter tomorrow.”
Philip Gieseker of Saline, Mich., sits in third place after a 4-under-par 68, and Tanner Murphy of Columbus, Ohio, is in fourth at 3-under-par 69. Alex Lyall of Novi, Mich., and Tyler Ledet of Woodworth, La., are tied for fifth after 2-under-par rounds of 70.
In the Girls Division, Ross used three birdies to pace a steady round. Though a bogey on No. 18 was a black mark on her scorecard, Ross got up-and-down from behind the green and said it will provide confidence heading into the next two rounds.
“That was important just to know that I can recover and end on a good note,” said Ross, who has four top-10 finishes in AJGA tournaments and is looking for her first win. “It makes me comfortable with my game because if something goes wrong, I can recover.”
Stephanie Wagstaff of Asheville, N.C., Louisa Shu of West Bloomfield, Mich., Taylor Manning of Brentwood, Tenn., and Suzie Lee of E. Northport, N.Y., recorded rounds of 74 and are in a four-way tie for second.
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 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Second-round tee times for the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament will run from 7 — 11:48 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 off the No. 1 tee. For more information, please contact tournament headquarters at (614)764-1714, ext. 138.