REINERSTON GOES LOW FOR FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT JOHN DEERE CLASSIC JUNIOR OPEN
Yang and Davis lead Girls Division by three strokes
LONG GROVE, Iowa — Josh Reinertson of Gibbon, Neb., exploded with a 6-under-par 66 to set the pace for the Boys Division in the first round of the John Deere Classic Junior Open Tuesday. In the Girls Division, Julie Yang of Phoenix and Sarah Beth Davis of Victoria, Texas, each carded a 1-under-par 71 to tie for the top spot on the leader board.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the John Deere Classic Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke-play event being held at Glynns Creek Golf Course. The 98-player field consists of boys and girls, age 12-18, from 20 states, British Columbia and China. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,955 yards while the Girls Division is at 6,181 yards.
Because of the sopping wet conditions and inclement weather, the start of the round was pushed back six hours. However, that did not have any effect on Reinertson's game. The 17-year-old who had never finished higher than eighth place in an AJGA tournament, took the soggy course and soft greens by storm. Starting on No. 3 because of a shotgun start, he recorded six birdies and no bogeys to finish with a 6-under-par 66.
“I hit my driver really well and kept it in the fairways,” Reinertson said. “That helped me hit some good approach shots, and I putted well. The weather didn't really have any effect.”
Paul McConnell, 17, of Garland, Texas, sits alone in second after firing a first-round 5-under-par 67. His chip-in on No. 4 helped him overcome a bogey on No. 2. Jace Long of Dixon, Mo., is in third with 4-under-par 68. Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division are Philip Chian of Covina, Calif., Cody Kent of Castle Rock, Colo., Ryan Marks of Warrensburg, Mo., Alex Hofmann of Overland Park, Kan. and Kevin Stanek of Bellevue, Neb., all who shot a 1-under-par 71.
Yang, 12, and Davis, 17, both lead the Girls Division after their stellar first rounds. Yang, who has finished in the top five in five of nine career AJGA events, finished her round with two birdies and one bogey. Davis, who finished second to Yang in the Randy Smith Classic Presented by Lubbock Sports Authority in 2006, also carded two birdies and a bogey. Playing the ball straight helped play a large role in her success.
“I did a good job hitting the fairways, and keeping it out of that side rough,” Davis said. “That was huge today.”
Rounding out the top three of the Girls Division was Gianna DiGrazia of Addison, Ill., who shot a 2-over-par 74.
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. 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 begin at 8 a.m. in the form of a shotgun start. For more information on the John Deere Classic Junior Open, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (563) 285-6635.