LOCAL STAR WILLIAMS TAKES FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT THE DOMINION COUNTRY CLUB
13-year-old Jennifer Johnson captures four-shot lead in Girls Division
SAN ANTONIO — Nick Williams of New Braunfels, Texas, fired a 6-under-par 65 Tuesday to claim the first-round lead at the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout presented by Ingram Park Auto Center. In the Girls Division, 13-year-old Jennifer Johnson of Carlsbad, Calif., stormed out to a four-shot lead after carding a 2-under-par 69.
The Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout presented by Ingram Park Auto Center, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at The Dominion Country Club in San Antonio. One-hundred and nineteen junior golfers from eight states and Mexico, including 95 from Texas, are competing in the tournament. Past champions of the event include Tiger Woods, as well as Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel, both of whom recently tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open.
Williams' started his round with a plethora of birdies on the front nine while carding a 4-under-par 31. Williams played the par-5s at The Dominion Country Club in 5-under-par, including an eagle on No. 11. He holds a one-shot lead over Chris Causey of The Woodlands, Texas, heading into the second round.
“You have to play the par-5s well when the course is playing short,” Williams said. “I drove the ball well and kept myself out of trouble all day, especially off the tee.”
Causey also played well on the front nine, making three birdies and recording a 32. The Woodlands, Texas, native had six birdies on the day while carding a 5-under-par 66.
Christopher Brown of Garland, Texas, sits two shots out of the lead with a 4-under-par 67. Michael Lee of Corinth, Texas, is alone in fourth place after shooting a 3-under-par 68. Four players, including Texas natives Geoff Howard of San Antonio, Joseph Tatah of Palestine and John Peterson of Fort Worth, as well as Ben Hayes of Carmichael, Calif., are tied for fifth with matching 1-under-par 70s.
In the Girls Division, Johnson made birdies on three of her first four holes en route to a 33 on The Dominion Country Club's front nine. She held steady throughout the back nine and will be looking to extend her lead during Wednesday's second round.
“I just want to keep trying to go low and not make any mistakes,” said Johnson, who recently won the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior.
Trailing Johnson by four shots is Lila Barton of Dallas. Barton, who recorded a 2-over-par 73, recently teamed with Sydney Burlison of Salinas, Calif., to win the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship for the second consecutive year.
Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, stands alone in third place, five shots behind Johnson after shooting a 3-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 a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
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 Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
The second round of the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout presented by Ingram Park Auto Center begins Wednesday at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at The Dominion Country Club. For more information, call tournament headquarters at (210) 698-7699.