KIRCHER BEATS THE RAIN, SITS ATOP THE LEADERBOARD
Sobolewski carries two-shot lead into the Final Round in the Girls Division
MENDON, N.Y. — Benton Kircher of Pittsford, N.Y., shot an even-par 71 and finished just before a rain delay to lead the Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA. In the Girls Division, Rene Sobolewski of Buffalo, N.Y., is the first-round leader with a 4-over-par 77 at The Country Club of Mendon.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA is a 36-hole stroke play event being held at The Country Club of Mendon. The tournament field consists of 78 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states, Canada and Colombia. The Boys Division is playing the par 71 course at 6,572 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the par 73 course at 6,072 yards.
The Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA is one of eight events being held as 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.
Kircher started well hitting seven of the first nine greens in regulation and recorded par on his first five holes. His rhythm was disrupted with a bogey on No. 6, but he was able to rebound as he made the turn.
“I bogeyed No. 6 and that set me back a little,” said Kircher. “But I was able to get up and down for par on Nos. 7 and 8 and then birdied Nos. 9 and 10.”
Hitting into a creek on No. 11, Kircher recorded a double bogey on the hole to get back to 1-over-par. He was able to recover with a string of par-saving putts on Nos. 12-15. Kircher birdied No. 16 and holed a 15-foot putt on No. 18 to finish at even-par.
“I hit the ball very straight and that's what you've got to do on this course,” said Kircher. “The holes are tight so if you hit fairways you can give yourself birdie opportunities.”
Sean Bosdosh of Clarksburg, Md., sits alone in second with a 2-over-par 73. Tied for third with 3-over-par 74s are Stephane Dubois of Brantford, Ontario, Scott Mann of Highland Park, Ill., and Jesse Maislin of Montreal, Quebec.
Sobolewski's round got off to a slow start with three bogies on the front nine and only a single birdie. She made the turn at 2-over-par and admits she was probably thinking too much about the scores. After bogies on Nos. 10 and 12 and a double bogie on No. 14, Sobolewski convinced herself that she would finish strong.
“On the last four holes I told myself I was going to finish well because I hate ending on a bad note,” said Sobolewski. “I finished par, birdie, par, birdie.”
Bailey Cocca of Latham, N.Y., shot a first-round 6-over-par 79 and sits two shots behind the lead going into the Final Round. Alina Rogers of Richmond Hill, Ontario, is in third with a 7-over-par 80.
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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
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 of the Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA will be an 8 a.m. shotgun start Sunday, May 10 at The Country Club of Mendon. For more information about the Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA please contact AJGA tournament headquarters at (585) 624-3770 ext. 226.