HARIGAE IN FRONT BY THREE AFTER 6-UNDER-PAR 66
Main and Kang tied atop Boys leaderboard at 5-under-par 67
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., fired a 6-under-par 66 Tuesday to take the lead after the first round of the TomatoBank Northern California Classic. Gregor Main of Danville, Calif., and Alex Kang of Oak Park, Calif., each carded rounds of 5-under-par 67 to take a one shot lead in the Boys Division at Ruby Hill Golf Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the TomatoBank Northern California Classic is a 54-hole stroke play event featuring 57 boys and 26 girls ages 12-18 from 8 states, Canada, and New Zealand. The event is being staged on the par-72 Ruby Hill Golf Club with boys tees set at 7,098 yards and girls tees at 6,274 yards.
Harigae carded a bogey-free, 6-under-par 66 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of play. Harigae used steady play out of the gate, recording eight pars and one birdie on the front nine.
“I was hitting it really well today, putting everything to 10 feet, but my putts weren't dropping,” Hariage said.
Her fortunes changed on the back though, where she made five birdies, including three straight on Nos. 12, 13, and 14.
“I finally made a putt on No. 10, and from there I was O.K.” she said.
Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., is in second place after recording a 3-under-par 69. Courtney Ellenbogen of Blacksburg, Va., and Alexandra Stewart of Carson City, Nev., are tied for third at 1-under-par 71.
In the Boys Division, Kang opened with an up-and-down front nine, responding to back-to-back bogeys with a birdie on No. 8 to shoot even-par 36.
“I didn't really hit my irons well on the front nine, and my speed was off on my putts. On the back nine, my irons were better, my speed was still off, but I had shorter putts,” Kang said.
Kang's improved short irons led to birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 13, 17, and 18, for a 5-under-par 31 on the back side.
Main went about things in a more conventional manner, notching four consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 14, 16, and 18. His lone bogey came at the turn, but he responded with three more birdies to finish at 5-under-par 67.
Christopher Cho of Kent, Wash., and Stephen Hale of Bakersfield, Calif., are tied for second at 4-under-par 68. Tommy Chung Hao Mou of Taipei, Taiwan is alone in fifth at 3-under-par 69.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 will run from 7:30 — 9:27 a.m. off of the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information about the TomatoBank Northern California Classic, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 861-0519.