Stanford, CA- Karen Tsuru of Carlsbad, California, leads the Mariah Stackhouse Girls Invitational by one stroke after carding a 6-under-par 65 in round one.
Tsuru, started the round off on a good noted with a birdie on No. 1. After her lone bogey on the front nine coming at No. 3, the 2023 graduate would go onto birdie three of her final five holes. She would finish the front nine 3-under-par 32. Tsuru made her final push to the top after consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 14-16. This would bring her birdie total to eight in round one.
Tsuru is putting together quite a season here in 2021. The 16-year old has tallied three top-10 finishes including her first AJGA victory at the AJGA Lake Las Vegas Junior. She finished T10 at the FOX Sports Junior at Mission Viejo and T8 at the Ping An Bank Open Championship. At No. 37 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Tsuru is going her first Invitational win.
Michelle Liu of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Leigh Chien of Irvine, California, are T2 sitting at 5-under-par 66. Liu, a 2024 graduate started on the back nine but it was the front nine where she saw most of her success. The 14 year-old was able to card six birdies in that stretch including four consecutive on Nos. 4-7. With a win coming at the UHY St. Louis Junior, Lui is searching for her second AJGA win of the year.
Leigh Chien quickly made a name for herself in the AJGA with a lot of success at only age 15. The two-time Invitational winner will enter the second round one stroke back. The 2024 graduate carded seven birdies with five of those coming on the front nine.
Ka Hei Kong of (Hong Kong) Arcadia, California, and Reagan Zibilski of Springfield, Missouri, round out the top-5 at T4. They both shot 4-under-par 67 with six birdies a piece.
Second round tee times will run from 1:00-2:40 p.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 at Stanford Golf Course on September 3rd.
About the Host
Stackhouse joins fellow LPGA Tour players Annika Sorenstam, Alison Lee, Sung Hyun Park, Se Ri Pak, Stacy Lewis, Albane Valenzuela and Marina Alex, in lending her name to a top junior golf tournament in 2021. Stackhouse, the 2011 Player Representative to the AJGA Board of Directors, had an impressive junior career. The four-time AJGA champion earned Rolex Junior All-America honors three times, including a first team appearance in 2011. Stackhouse finished T2 in the 2011 edition of the event she now sponsors.