STONG GOES LOW IN FIRST AJGA EVENT TO TAKE LEAD IN BOYS DIVISION
Patterson and Hu tied in the Girls Division at Redhawk Golf Course
TEMECULA, Calif.- Vincent Stong of Potrero, Calif., holds a one-stroke lead over the competition at the Nike Golf Junior at Redhawk. His round of 4-under-par 68 puts him atop the Boys Division after one round of play. In the Girls Division, Ariana Patterson of Carmel, Calif., and Stephanie Hu of Cerritos, Calif., share the lead. Both shot even-par 72 to enter Wednesday's round with a three-stroke lead.
The Nike Golf Junior at Redhawk, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 66 boys and 18 girls — ages 12-15 — from 10 states and three foreign countries. The event is being staged on the par-72, 6,673-yard Redhawk Golf Course (Girls Division played at 5,732 yards).
Stong began the day with three birdies on the front side. He continued to roll on the back nine, firing consecutive birdies on Nos. 10 and 11. He then made his only bogey of the day on No. 12. Remaining steady the rest of his round, Stong finished at 4-under-par.
Before making his first appearance as an AJGA member, Stong was nervous about his first round.
“Since this was my first AJGA event, I didn't want to come out and blow it,” said Stong. “I was very nervous, but now I'm confident and feel good about the next few days.”
The Boys Division is close with two players only one-stroke off the lead. Sam Chien of San Diego, and Dong Su of Richmond, B.C., are tied at 69. Nick Delio of Valencia, Calif., is alone in fourth at 71. Rounding out the top-5 in the Boys Division is Tyler Weworski of Carlsbad, Calif., with a 72.
In the Girls Division, Patterson and Hu's rounds of even-par 72 on Tuesday give them a comfortable three-stroke lead over the field. They are both leading an AJGA event for the first time and are excited about the days ahead.
15-year-old Hu started her day with consecutive bogeys on Nos. 1 and 2. She then hit three birdies in a row on Nos. 4, 5 and 6. She was putting well and was able to make the shots necessary to play a solid round.
“I really like the course,” Hu said. “I had a lot of fun playing out there today and I look forward to tomorrow.”
With her short game working well, Patterson was 1-under-par on the front nine. On the back nine, a great save on the 325-yard, par-4 No 15, allowed her to remain at 1-over-par on the back.
“My plan is to stay focused on one shot at a time,” the 14-year-old said. “I don't want to get ahead of myself and end up hurting my game.”
Tied for third in the Girls Division are Veronica Valerio of Temecula, Calif., and Ashley Johnson of Bellflower, Calif. Their rounds of 75 put them three strokes off the lead.
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 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 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, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
Second-round tee times will begin Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Redhawk Golf Course.
For more information about the Nike Junior Golf at Redhawk, contact tournament headquarters at (951) 302-3855 ext. 25.