McCULLUM HOLDS THREE-STROKE LEAD AT CALLAWAY GARDENS
Szeryk and Alexander Lead Girls Division in Pine Mountain, Ga.
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Taylor McCullum of Hoover, Ala., leads the Boys Division of the Junior All-Star at Callaway Gardens after shooting a 2-under-par 70 Tuesday. Leading the Girls Division are Maddie Szeryk of Allen, Texas, and Amira Alexander of Alpharetta, Ga., who finished the first round at 5-over-par 77.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at Callaway Gardens is a 54-hole stroke-play tournament at Callaway Gardens — Mountain View Course. The field is made up of 81 top juniors from 17 states and Colombia. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,967 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,952 yards.
McCullum leads the Boys Division by three strokes after carding four birdies for the day.
“After getting back to back birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, I had a 20-foot putt for birdie on No. 11, and I chipped in for birdie on No. 17,” McCullum said. “Tomorrow I'm going to keep going through the process of hitting my greens and fairways and hopefully everything will work out.”
Close behind McCullum is Hank Lebioda of Winter Springs, Fla., who finished the day in second place at 1-over-par 73. Tied for third at 2-over-par 74 are Austin DeGrate of Houston, Michael Hines of Acworth, Ga., Winburne Hughes of Memphis, Tenn., Jordan Karam of Lake Charles, La., and Zach Botts IV of Jonesborough, Tenn.
Tied for first in the Girls Division are Szeryk and Alexander who finished the first round two strokes ahead of the competition. Szeryk was pleased with her performance.
“I played pretty solid the whole day,” Szeryk said. “I got up and down from the bunker a lot today, and I made a couple five-foot putts for par.”
Alexander struggled to get in the groove her first couple holes with double bogeys on Nos. 1 and 3, but carded an even-par 36 on the back nine.
“I calmed down in the middle of the round and everything started going in sync,” Alexander said. “Tomorrow I need to remain calm throughout the round and correct the mistakes I made on the front nine.”
Marissa Dodd also of Allen, Texas, and Lakareber Abe of Angleton, Texas are tied for third at 7-over-par 79.
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 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of eleven events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. Juniors are limited to a maximum combination of five AJGA Open and Junior All-Star Series events during a calendar year. The series concludes with the Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time junior golf training and development program, enters its first year as an Official Partner of the AJGA. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which will provide juniors access to national competitive golf opportunities.
Second round tee times will run from 7:45 a.m. — 12:05 p.m. off the No. 1 tee, Wednesday, June 3. For more information contact tournament headquarters at 678-571-7994.
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