PRESSEL FIRES 3-UNDER-PAR 68 TO LEAD AT MCDONALD'S BETSY RAWLS
Joy Kim follows two shots out
MALVERN, Penn. - Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., fired a 3-under-par 68 to set the tone at the first round of the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship, taking a 2-shot lead over 60 of the world's best junior girls. Joy Kim of Duluth, Ga., carded a 1-under-par 70 to keep within two shots of Pressel.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship is a 54-hole stroke-play invitational that features 61 of the world's best female junior golfers from 17 states and one foreign country. The field includes 18 Rolex Junior All-Americans and eight 2005 AJGA tournament champions. The White Manor Country Club, home to the 1981-86 LPGA Tour McDonald's Classic and the Champions Tour's 1991 Bell Atlantic Classic, is hosting the event for the second straight year.
Carding four birdies on the day, Pressel credited her sub-par round to flawless ball striking.
“I played a perfect round of golf—well enough to shoot 62,” Pressel said. “I really hit the ball well. One of the best striking rounds I have had in my life.”
White Manor's tight fairways and rolling greens could not stop the four-time Rolex Junior All-American, who hit 13 fairways and 17 greens in regulation. Pressel said she would like to improve her putting to better her round.
“I don't commit to my putt,” Pressel said. “I was only outside of 20 feet once today giving me 17 birdie opportunities, but I just couldn't finish them.”
Joy Kim of Duluth, Ga., used her consistent putting to position her in a close second.
“I had a steady start, parring my first four holes,” Kim said, who recorded only 28 putts on the day. “My putting saved me all day.”
Rounding out the top five, Megan Grehan of Mamaroneck, N.Y., Tiffany Lua of Rowland Heights, Calif., and Angela Oh of Maple Shade, N.J., are tied for third at even-par 71. Ginny Brown of Austin, Texas, and Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., sit in a tie for sixth at 72, while Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, Julie Kim of Bayside, N.Y., Lila Barton of Dallas, Texas, and Jennifer Johnson of Carlsbad, Calif., are tied for eighth at 73.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501c(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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA 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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
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 280 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.
Second-round tee-times will run from 7-10:20 a.m. at the White Manor Country Club. For more information on the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (610) 540-0276.