AUSTIN LEADS WITH FOUR-UNDER-PAR 67 AT INNISBROOK RESORT & GOLF CLUB
Collier leads Junior All-Star Championship Girls Division at even-par 71
PALM HARBOR, Fla. â€” After finishing the front nine at even par, Nicholas Austin of Midlothian, Va., sunk four birdies on the back nine to lead the Junior All-Star Championship at 4-under-par 67. Hannah Collier of Birmingham, Ala., leads the Girls Division at even-par after Saturday's first round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club's Copperhead Course. The 71-player field features players from 25 states, China and Mexico. The par-71 course is being played at 7,018 yards for the Boys Division, and 6,045 yards for the Girls Division.
Hitting 11 fairways and 16 greens, Austin said it would have been pretty tough for him to make a bogey Saturday. Austin carded one birdie and one bogey to finish the front nine at even par, but he made his run on the back nine with consecutive birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 followed by two more on Nos. 15 and 17.
â€śI'm not very good at scrambling, and getting up-and-down,â€ť Austin said. â€śMy ball striking was good today, so I just kind of coasted through the course.â€ť
Kramer Hickok of Plano, Texas is in second place at three-under-par 68. Tied for third place are Blake Olson of Pensacola, Fla., and Blake Biddle of St. Charles, Ill., at two-under-par 69. Tucker Wadkins of Dallas is in fifth place at even-par 71.
In the Girls Division, Collier recorded two bogeys on the front nine and responded on the back nine with birdies on two of the three par 3s.
â€śI struggled at the beginning, hitting only one or two greens,â€ť Collier said. â€śOn the back, I started hitting more greens. That really helped.â€ť
Collier said she hopes to keep her momentum throughout the rest of the tournament.
â€śI'm going to try to keep putting as good and do the same thing again tomorrow.â€ť
Tied for second place in the Girls Division are Grace Na of Oakland, Calif., Kendall Martindale of Jefferson City, Tenn., and Kaitlyn Rohrback of Crofton, Md., at 4-over-par 75.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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.
Second-round tee times will run from 7:30 â€” 9:12 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club's Copperhead Course. For more information about the Junior All-Star Championship, please contact tournament headquarters at (727) 942-2000, room 2838.