GUTHRIE CARDS 1-OVER-PAR 73 TO GRAB FIRST ROUND LEAD AT WINDY
RAND GRAPHICS - WILDCAT GOLF WICHITA JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Cothran fires 76 to lead Girls Division
WICHITA, Kan. Luke Guthrie of Quincy, Ill., and Chelsey Cothran of Springdale, Ark., fought off their competitors and the 48 mph wind gusts Wednesday in Wichita, Kan., to take the lead in the Boys and Girls Divisions at the Rand Graphics Wildcat Golf Wichita Junior Championship.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rand Graphics Wildcat Golf Wichita Junior Championship is a 54-hole, stroke play event held at Crestview Country Club North Course. The 84-player field features juniors from 17 states and Canada. The course is being played at 6,915 yards for the Boys Division and 6,010 yards for the Girls Division.
Guthrie, playing in only his second AJGA tournament, was happy with how he hit the ball throughout the day. Rather than trying to fight the wind, he took a different attitude into his round.
You have to embrace the wind, Guthrie said. Don't get mad or you won't play well. I just had to keep trying to hit the ball solid and low.
Chris Brant of Edwardsville, Ill., shot a 2-over-par 74 and is in second place entering Thursday's second round. Blake Walker of Elk City, Okla., and Cole Wiederkehr of Tulsa, Okla., scored 3-over-par 75s to tie for third. Michael McGee of Kansas City, Mo., Andrew Sajevic of Fremont Neb., Paul McConnell of Garland, Texas, Stephen Carney of Tulsa, Okla., Justin Spray of Colorado Springs, Colo., and local player Noah Smithson of Andover, Kan., all shot 4-over-par 76s to finish the first round tied for fifth.
In the Girls Division, Cothran was able to keep her focus on a day that tested the entire field. Despite the conditions, she felt she hit the ball well from tee to green.
It was hard to keep my concentration, she said. I had really good playing partners and they kept me going.
Caitlin Bliss of Katy, Texas, and Becca Huffer of Denver, Colo., each shot 5-over-par 77s to finish the round tied for second.
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 49 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Thursday's second round will be a 2 p.m. shotgun start. For more information about the Rand Graphics Wildcat Golf Wichita Junior Championship, please contact Tournament Director Julie Kickbusch at (770) 617-3050.