GRIBBLE'S 7-UNDER-PAR LEADS BLUEGRASS JUNIOR, TIES MENS COURSE RECORD
Duo tied for first in Girls Division with a pair of 72's
ASHLAND, Ky. — Cody Gribble of Dallas fired a 7-under-par 63 to tie the mens course record at Bellefonte Country Club and take a commanding four-stroke lead on the boys field after the first round of the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior. In the Girls Division Candace Schepperle of Hoover, Ala., and Molly Aronsson of Shelburne, Vt., both used 72s to take a three-shot lead on their competition.
The Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior is a 54-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky. The 120 player field boasts 90 boys and 30 girls from 24 states.
Gribble began his day on a roll, chipping in for eagle on No. 1 and finding the bottom of the cup for birdie on the second hole before having his round interrupted by a two-hour rain delay. He did not let that phase him though as he came out after the delay to fire a back-nine 29, which included six birdies.
Gribble described today's round and the feeling of tying the course record as, “awesome, but I would rather win the tournament.” After finishing fifth in this event last year, Gribble knows the work is far from done.
“There are still two more days, I've just got to keep grinding,” he said.
Finishing the day in a three-way tie for second place with 3-under-par 67s were Nicholas Mullhaupt of Bradenton, Fla., Chase Wright of Muncie, Ind., and Caleb Marsh of Strawberry Plains, Tenn. Kyle Thomas of Fishers, Ind., stands alone in fifth place with a 2-under-par 68.
In the Girls Division Schepperle and Aronsson both used strong rounds to card 2-over-par 72s. Schepperle, who recently committed to Auburn University, is happy with her first round even though she had to fight through a roller coaster day.
“I played solid, but had some bad breaks where it was tough to get up and down,” she said.
Aronsson was also happy with her first round as she used a strong putting performance to fire three birdies. She will look to continue her strong play with a strategy to “keep playing aggressive, focusing on hitting fairways and greens.”
Finishing the first round in a tie for third place were Kristin Price of Dandridge, Tenn., and Brianna Do of Lakewood, Calif., with a set of 5-over-par 75s.
The Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior is in its 23rd year and is one of the oldest tournaments on the AJGA schedule. Many of the PGA Tours brightest stars have participated in the Natural Resource Bluegrass Junior throughout its storied history including Jim Furyk, Charles Howell III, Steve Flesch and past champion Ben Curtis, who went on to win the British Open and captain a Ryder Cup team.
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, in 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The second round of the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior will be a 7 a.m. start off the No. 1 tee at the Bellefonte Country Club on Thursday. For more information about the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior, please contact tournament headquarters at (606) 329-1966.