Defending Champion Takes First-Round Lead at AJGA Girls Championship
Two-way tie for second at The Furman Golf Club
Greenville, S.C. — Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., carded a 5-under-par 67 during the first round of the AJGA Girls Championship to take a four-stroke lead at The Furman Golf Club Saturday.
Hosted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Girls Championship is a 54-hole stroke play competition. The field features 78 girls from around the world. In all, 17 states are represented along with players from Canada, Japan, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. Competitors are playing the par-72 Furman Golf Club at 6,124 yards.
Chung, a two-time Rolex Junior All-American, leaned on past experience to put herself atop the leaderboard. Claiming her second AJGA victory in 2009 at the AJGA Girls Championship, Chung says confidence on the course has helped her play well.
“Coming into this week I wasn't playing well, but I knew this course was good for my game,” Chung said. “I like this course and with the extra practice I know I can do well here.”
Birdying seven holes including all four par-5s, Chung will look to keep her focus on the course as she looks for her third victory and first back-to-back championship at an event.
“I feel confident right now. I just need to keep my head straight for the next two days,” Chung said. “I'm playing consistent right now and if I keep that up I can play well here again this year.”
Tezira Abe of Angleton, Texas, and Shannon Aubert of Orlando, Fla., are both tied for second after firing 1-under-par 71s to sit four strokes back of Chung. Allisen Corpuz, of Honolulu, sits alone in fourth place after an even-par 72 finish. All tied for fifth at 1-over-par 73 are: Annie Park of Levittown, N.Y., Lauren Coughlin of Chesapeake, Va., Mariana Sims of Austin, Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., McKenzie Talbert of Edgefield, S.C., and Michaela Owen of Alpharetta, Ga.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Tee times for Sunday's second round will run from 8-9:48 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at The Furman Golf Club. For more information regarding the AJGA Girls Championship, contact Tournament Director Julie Kickbusch at (770) 617-3050.