PARK, TANCO LEAD FIELD AT 4-UNDER-PAR AFTER FIRST ROUND OF ROLEX GIRLS JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Jin, Korda trail co-leaders by one stroke at Carmel Country Club
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It was a great day to be named Victoria at the first round of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship Wednesday as both Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., and Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., lead the pack with 4-under-par 68s
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rolex Girls Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Carmel Country Club's South Course. The 99-player field features players from 23 states and six foreign countries. The par-72 Carmel Country Club - South Course is being played at 6,356 yards.
Park was the first golfer to tee off and wasted no time jumping out in front of the field—making birdies on Nos. 2 and 5. She was bogey-free on the other seven holes to finish with a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine.
“I wasn't really surprised [to be 4-under-par],” Park said. “I was just thinking ‘oh, that's cool.'”
The back nine was similar with two more birdies and nothing but pars on the remaining seven holes. Her birdie on No. 14 came as a result of a 10-yard downhill chip from behind the green.
“I hit it beyond the green on my approach shot,” Park said. “I was just going for par on the chip, but then when it was about to go in, I was thinking ‘oh, it's in!'”
Though not as consistent as Park, Tanco began her round with four birdies and a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine. Tanco has thus far enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere of her first AJGA tournament.
“It's been a very good experience,” Tanco said. “It's my very first tournament; I'm very relaxed. I shot a 68, and I'm very happy with that.”
This is Tanco's first time in Charlotte but not in North Carolina. Tanco qualified for the U.S. Women's Open in Pinehurst, N.C., Monday, which will be played at Interlachen in Edina, Minn.—a tournament she is definitely eager to be a part of.
“I'm excited to meet all the professional players like Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer,” Tanco said.
Pearl Jin and Jessica Korda, both of Bradenton Fla., are tied for third at 3-under-par 69. Michelle Shin of Cape Coral, Fla., Sydney Burlison of Salinas, Calif., Sherlyn Popelka of Reunion, Fla., Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., and Austin Ernst of Seneca S.C., are all tied for fifth at 2-under-par 70.
Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. Along with sponsoring the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, Rolex is also the title partner of the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the proprietors of the Rolex Junior All-America Teams.
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 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.
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.
The second round of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship will be Thursday, June 12 with tee times running off the first tee from 7 a.m. to 11:48 a.m. at Carmel Country Club and will be available in real-time through FootJoy Live Scoring. For more information about the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, please contact Steve Ethun at 678-571-7994.