SHEPHARD, ZALATORIS SHARE 1-UNDER-PAR LEAD AT BROOKHAVEN COUNTRY CLUB
Park, Warren out in front of the Girls Division at Preseason Junior at Brookhaven
DALLAS — A pair of Texans, Dylan Shephard of Austin, and William Zalatoris of Plano, carded rounds of 1-under-par 71, at Brookhaven Country Club's Championship Course to capture the opening-round lead. Jennifer Park of Carrollton, Texas, and Elena Warren of Austin, Texas, share a one-stroke lead at 7-over-par 79 in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Brookhaven features 78 boys and girls ages 12-18, from 12 states and Canada. The 36-hole stroke play event is being staged at the par-72 Brookhaven Country Club Championship Course. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,544 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 5,937 yards.
The Preseason Junior at Brookhaven is one of eight events being held as a part of the Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series. The Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.
Playing in his first AJGA tournament, Shephard's game today was not bothered by the 20 mph cross winds blowing early this morning. As the co-leader, he had some great shots especially on No. 1, hitting a 7-iron within eight feet for a birdie. Shephard said that he had to work the ball against the wind.
“I just hope to shoot under par tomorrow, especially if the wind is like it was today,” Shephard said. “I just need to try to relax out there.”
Zalatoris, 12, is playing in his first AJGA event and looked like a seasoned pro during his first round as he made the turn at 2-under-par. After the recent renovations to the club, the course has gotten a little more difficult according to Zalatoris.
“It's tough, but my best friend Jordan Spieth has really helped me learn the difficulty of the course,” Zalatoris said.
Stuart Smallwood of Paris, Texas, shot even-par 72 for third, and Tanner Kesterson of Plano, Texas, is in fourth place after shooting 1-over-par 73. Rounding out the top five is Jason Pearce of Round Rock, Texas, at 4-over-par 76.
In the Girls Division, Park started off her first five holes with birdies on Nos. 1 and 5. Her approach shot on No. 5 was something you would see on television, as she nearly holed out for eagle.
“This wind was a mess out there and I had to keep changing clubs,” Park said. “I feel really relieved after getting my first round out of the way.”
Warren made her only birdie of the day on No. 16, as she stuck her 115-yard approach shot within a couple feet of the hole. Her consistent play puts her at the top of the Girls Division with Park.
“This is such an amazing experience,” Warren said. “I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.”
Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division is Maddie Szeryk of Allen, Texas, who sits alone in third place one stroke behind the leaders.
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 50 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 250 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 Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year. For those who are eligible, participation is limited to one Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series event per calendar year as long as they have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series event.
Golf Academy of America, with campuses located in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando and Myrtle Beach, is the oldest and largest two-year golf career college in the world. GAA's 16-month program balances classroom studies, practical experience and comprehensive understanding of the business of golf. For more information, call 800-342-7342 or visit http://www.golfacademy.edu.
The final round for the Preseason Junior at Brookhaven will be Sunday, April 5, from 8-9:51 a.m. off of Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information on the Preseason Junior at Brookhaven, please contact Tournament Director Cover Heishman at (678) 617-2428.