HALL GRABS FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT THE AJGA CLIFFS CHAMPIONSHIP
Meadow carries one-shot advantage into the final round of the Girls Division
ARDEN, N.C. — Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., shot an opening-round 66 to take a 2-shot lead in the AJGA Cliffs Championship. Stephanie Meadow of Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, sits atop the leaderboard in the Girls Division with a 1-under-par 70 at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Cliffs Championship is a 36-hole stroke play event being held at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. The tournament field consists of 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states and four countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 course at 7,009 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,023 yards.
Hall, following a sixth-place finish at the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook, put himself in good shape two weeks later with a 5-under-par score in the opening round of play. Hall started well with two birdies and no bogies on the front nine. On the back nine, Hall recorded a bogie on No.10, but recovered with birdies on Nos. 11 and 13. Hall chipped in on the par-5 No. 17 from just off the green for an eagle giving him the low round of the day.
“I felt really good controlling my ball flight today,” said Hall. “My game is really in control right now.”
Sean Kelly of Staten Island, N.Y., also had a solid round with a 3-under-par 68 giving him sole possession of second place going into the final round. Tied for third with 2-under-par 69s are Michael Montgomery of Daufuskie Island, S.C., Jason Roets of Eikenhof, South Africa, Chun-Ji Kim of Chandler, Ariz., Shawn Yim of Buford, Ga., and Oliver Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga.
In the Girls Division, Meadow started well with a birdie on her first hole of the day, but followed with a stretch of three straight bogies on Nos. 3, 4, and 5. She regained a stroke with a birdie No. 8 and entered the back nine at 1-over. Despite some stiff wind, Meadow was still 1-over-par going into No. 17. The wind in her face, she was able to birdie Nos. 17 and 18 for 2-under on the back nine and 1-under-par for the day.
“The wind was really tough, it made a two to three club difference, but my iron play was still a lot better on the back nine,” said Meadow. “That gave me a lot more opportunities for birdie.”
Ri Hyang Park of Bluffton, S.C., sits 1-shot back from the lead and in second with an even-par 71. At 1-over-par, Haley Stephens of Greer, S.C., rounds out the top-3 in the Girls Division.
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 50 states and more than 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.
Final-round tee times for the AJGA Cliffs Championship will run Sunday, April 26 from 8-9:48 a.m., off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. For more information, please contact AJGA tournament headquarters at (828) 687-7965.