ROMERO SWEATS OUT EARLY LEAD AT SCISSORTAIL JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP WITH 1-UNDER-PAR 71
Two girls tied atop Girls Division leaderboard
BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Sean Romero of Texarkana, Ark., found comfort atop the hotly contested Boys Division after shooting an opening-round 1-under-par 71 at the Scissortail Junior Championship held at Golf Club of Oklahoma. It's California Dreamin' in the Girls Division as Elizabeth Doty of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., and Veronica Valerio of Temecula, Calif., each carded a 2-over-par 74 and are currently tied for the lead.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Scissortail Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Golf Club of Oklahoma in Broken Arrow, Okla. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 14 states. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 Golf Club of Oklahoma at 6,919 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 6,071 yards.
Although Romero attributes his success during Tuesday's scorching-hot round to his ball striking abilities, his putter also played a key role. He drilled three long birdie putts during the opening round, two of which were from 30 feet. The most important putt of the day might have been the 20 footer he made on the 585-yard, par-5 No. 13, which followed two straight bogeys he had suffered after three-putting on Nos. 11 and 12. This boost of confidence helped him finish his final five holes at 1-under-par.
“I hit the ball really good today,” Romero said. “I didn't miss a fairway today and I hit all the greens. If I play like I did today, and hit the ball as good, I should be okay.”
Andrew Cornella of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Eric Coatney of Tulsa, Okla., are tied for second at 1-over-par 73. Following in fourth is Colton Staggs of Tulsa, Okla., at 2-over-par 74. Wyndham Clark of Greenwood Village, Colo., Wyatt Robson of Ada, Okla., Tyler Thomas of Beaumont, Texas, and Jett Johnson of Norman, Okla., are tied for fifth at 3-over-par 75.
In the Girls Division, Doty used two early birdies on Nos. 1 and 3 to help pace her to her leading score.
“I'm satisfied with my play today,” Doty said. “I was satisfied with 16 holes today, just had two bad ones [Nos. 6 and 18]; I hit the ball and putted well.”
Going into No. 18, Doty had seven pars and a birdie on the back nine; however, she three putted on the upper green and had to mark a bogey. It gave her an even-par score on the back.
Valerio's five birdies on the front nine gave her an early swagger, as she carded a 2-under-par 34 through nine holes and took only 12 putts. While the back was a bit bumpier (she shot a 4-over-par 40) she was still pleased with her execution.
“It was good, just had a few mistakes,” Valerio said. “If I get rid of my mistakes tomorrow I should be in good shape.”
Chessey Thomas of Spokane, Wash., and Taylor Ramsey of Augusta, Ga., are tied for third and are in the clubhouse with a first round total of 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 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 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.
Second round tee times for the Scissortail Junior Championship will run from 7:30 a.m. — 12:50 p.m. off the No. 1 tee Wednesday, August 5, at Golf Club of Oklahoma. For more information, please call Tournament Headquarters at (770) 861-0519.