GRAHAM HURDLES OVER COMPETITION TO LEAD BOYS DIVISION
Yun stands out from the rest in Girls Division
ROME, Ga. Wesley Graham, 16, of Port Orange, Fla., finished the first round of the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic with a score of 65 to have a one-stroke lead in the Boys Division. Hannah Yun, 14, of Bradenton, Fla., fired a lead score of 4-under-par 67 in Tuesday's first-round to lead by three strokes at Coosa Country Club.
The Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic is a 54-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Coosa Country Club. The tournament features 98 players representing 13 states and Canada with 30 from the host state of Georgia. The Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic is one of the AJGA's longest running tournaments and is returning to Coosa Country Club for its seventh year in a row. While the Boys Division par is 70, the Girls Division par for the course is 71.
Having played in a tough field at the 2006 U.S. Junior Amateur, Graham brought his momentum into the first round by turning in a lead score of 34-3165. He headed into play with a strategy of sticking to his own ways and it paid off with six birdies and 11 pars to lead after round one.
I played my own game as well as I could, Graham said. I'm not trying to win it all in the first round.
He went on to explain that every aspect of his game was working for him throughout his round.
My game was solid overall, Graham said. I felt confident hitting the ball and putting today.
Tied for second-place honors with scores of 66 were Drew Ernst of Seneca, S.C., Jonathan Randolph of Brandon, Miss., and T.J. Mitchell of Albany, Ga. Rounding out the top five were Vincent Nadeau of Edmond, Okla., Alex Frankel of Atlanta, Alex Castro of Alpharetta, Ga., Christopher Carlin of Miramar, Fla., and Hayes Brown of Atlanta all carding first-round scores of 67
Playing in the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic for the first time, Yun finished with six birdies and 10 pars to tie her personal low-round score of 67. She explains that rather than playing dangerously, taking her time is a beneficial factor towards her game.
I am playing more conservative, Yun said. If I go for par, then the birdies will come.
Having already played in five AJGA tournaments this year, Yun said that putting was one of the keys to her low-round finish.
I slowed down my putts, Yun said. I wanted to see all of my options on the green.
Finishing three strokes behind the leader with a score of 1-under-par 70 was Kyle Roig of Pembroke Pines, Fla. Tied for third with scores of 71 were Justine Chen of Lake Forest, Calif., Sara Grantham of Cleveland, Tenn., and Zakiya Randall of Atlanta.
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 an annual 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 is 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 compiles 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 Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic will be held Wednesday, August 2 at Coosa Country Club beginning at 7:30 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information please contact tournament headquarters at (706) 238-8924 or visit ajga.org.