TRACY, BERINGER TIE FOR FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT NATIONWIDE INSURANCE JUNIOR PRESENTED BY THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
Benavides leads Girls Division by two at Tartan Fields Golf Club
DUBLIN, Ohio — Ohio natives Ethan Tracy, 18, of Hilliard, and John Beringer, 17, of Loveland, share the first-round lead at the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament after carding rounds of 3-under-par 69 Tuesday. Susana Benavides, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., shot an opening-round 1-over-par 73 to lead the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament features 99 players from 21 states and Canada. The field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 Tartan Fields Golf Club at 6,972 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,063 yards.
Tracy played a consistent round, carding five birdies and just one bogey for the day. The reigning SAP Junior Open champion hit 15 greens in regulation and made key putts, including a 7-foot curler for birdie on No. 10.
“I feel really good right now,” Tracy said. “I'm just looking to hit fairways and greens and keep making some putts.”
Beringer's short game proved to be the main contributor to his success. He recorded just 24 putts for the day and made birdies on Nos. 1, 6, 8, 13 and 14.
“Pretty much all my putts were dropping,” Beringer said. “My only bogeys were one-putts so my putting allowed me to avoid some potential disasters.”
Cameron Wilson of Rowayton, Conn., is currently in third place after posting a round of 1-under-par 71. Eight players are tied for fourth place at 1-over-par 73.
In the Girls Division, Benavides hit solid approach shots all day which led to easy birdies on Nos. 1, 4, 8, 14, and 16. Coming off a top-10 finish at last week's Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands, Benavides is looking forward to the next few days of golf.
“I hope to keep playing like this,” Benavides said. “This course is not easy and I have two more rounds to stay focused on.”
Brigitte Baker of McLean, Va., sits in second place after shooting a 3-over-par 75. Amy Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich., and Hanule Seo of St. Louis, are tied for third after posting rounds of 4-over-par 76.
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.
The second round of the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament is Wednesday, July 9 with tee times running off the first tee from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. at Tartan Fields Golf Club. For more information about the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (614) 792-0900 ext. 222.