HIGGS HITS 4-UNDER-PAR 68 AT RIVERCUT GOLF COURSE
Collins, Rennegarbe share lead at Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Harry Higgs of Overland Park, Kan., carded a 4-under-par 68 to be the first atop the leaderboard at the Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship. Emily Collins of Colleyville, Texas, and Shaina Rennegarbe of Addieville, Ill., each posted a 2-over-par 74 to share the lead in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Rivercut Golf Course. The tournament field features 75 boys and 23 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 at 6,947 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 5,985 yards.
Higgs recorded seven birdies on the day, including two back-to-back on Nos. 1 and 2 along with Nos. 9 and 10. Higgs chipped in on No. 9 but credits his low round to the work of his putter and said a 40-foot putt on No. 10 was the turning point of his day.
“I made absolutely everything,” Higgs said. “This is the best I've ever putted. When that happens it's easy.”
In second is Austin Struble of Aledo, Texas, at 3-under-par 69, followed by Jace Long of Dixon, Mo., and Kyle McCartan of Plano, Texas, tied for third at 2-under-par 70. Eli Juren of Austin, Texas, Bennett Lavin of Deerfield, Ill., Brian Steele of Springfield, Mo., and Jacob Burkholder of Sedalia, Mo., all hold the fifth spot, tied at 1-under-par 71.
In the Girls Division, Collins was happy to consistently hit the ball straight and avoid three-putts. She carded two birdies and 13 pars in the opening round.
“I had a shaky front nine,” Collins said. “I doubled No. 4 but I turned it around on the back and shot 2-under-par.”
Rennegarbe faired better on the front nine, posting a 1-under-par 35 and hit seven greens and seven fairways. While playing in the heat was demanding, Rennegarbe did not let it affect her game.
“It messes with you physically and mentally,” Rennegarbe said. “I knew it would be extremely hot but I knew if I kept focus I would be in good shape.”
Trailing by one stroke in third is the defending champion, Julia Thead of Poway, Calif., at 3-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 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 Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship is Wednesday, August 6 with tee times running off the No. 1 tee from 7 — 11:48 a.m. at Rivercut Golf Course. For more information about the Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 617-3050.