NIEBRUGGE LEADS MONTVERDE ACADEMY JUNIOR ALL-STAR INVITATIONAL
Sims claims lead in Girls Division at Mission Inn Resort & Club
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. — Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon, Wis., claimed the sole lead in the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational Saturday when he carded a 2-under-par 70 at Mission Inn Resort & Club. In the Girls Division, Sierra Sims of Austin, Texas, holds the lead with an even-par 72.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Mission Inn Resort & Club. The field features 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-15, from 21 states, Canada, Colombia and Mexico. The par-72 El Campeon course is being played at 6,718 yards for the Boys Division and 5,837 yards for the Girls Division.
Niebrugge finished the front nine at even par. It was on the back nine that he found his rhythm, carding consecutive birdies on Nos. 14 and 15. The high school sophomore credits his tee shot on No. 15 as his key shot of the day.
“On No. 15, I hit a 9-iron to two feet and made birdie. Holes 14-18 are tough and I just wanted to par out,” Niebrugge said. “The birdie gave me a boost of confidence.”
Tied for second at even-par 72 are Xander Schauffele of San Diego, and Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, N.C. Alone in fourth is Connor Black of Katy, Texas, with a 1-over-par 73. Tied for fifth with a 2-over-par 74 are Ryann Ree of Redondo Beach, Calif., Alex Lloyd of Virginia Beach, Va., Michael Moorhead of Newport Beach, Calif., Shotaro Ban of San Jose, Calif., Thomas Lim of Moorpark, Calif., and Chris Noble of Niles, Mich.
Sims, who has never led after the first round of an event, got off to a slow start, carding a bogey on No. 1. She quickly found herself at even-par again after a birdie on No. 2. She would trade birdie for bogey two more times throughout the round, coming into the clubhouse with an even-par 72.
Sims finished second at the Junior All-Star at Ballantyne in the summer, and brought what she learned from that experience to Mission Inn.
“I learned that I need to get under-par and stay under-par, and to trust my putting,” Sims said. “I'm playing well and 72 is one of my lowest scores.”
One stroke behind Sims is Marijosse Navarro of San Antonio, with a 1-over-par 73. Rounding out the top three is Rinko Mitsunago of Roswell, Ga., with a 2-over-par 74.
Second-round tee times will run from 8:30 — 10:18 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Mission Inn Resort & Golf Club's El Compeon. For more information about the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational, please contact tournament headquarters at (352) 324-3923.
About Montverde Academy
Founded in 1912, Montverde Academy is a leading college preparatory, coeducational independent school serving grades PK3 through 12. The boarding program serves grades 7 through 12 and Post Graduate. Heading into its Centennial Celebration, Montverde Academy has a lot to celebrate, not the least of which is a global reputation for having one of the most compelling combinations of college prep-school education, enrichment and athletics.
Situated on a pristine 125-acre campus 20 miles from Orlando, Montverde Academy keeps getting better with age and features 100 percent college acceptance results. For instance, the Academy's world-class academic standards and state-of-the-art programming, highlighted by extensive Advanced Placement and Honors Courses, offers the new college-level Chen Family International Language Laboratory. Meanwhile, Montverde Academy's acclaimed athletics, led by a nationally ranked basketball program, now partners with the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy.
Elsewhere, Montverde Academy's first-class facilities, featuring a World Championship Equestrian Center that specializes in Walking Horse/Hunter Jumper training, will be adding a new gem with the multi-million dollar, multi-sport athletic complex now under construction. For further information, please visit Montverde Academy's website at montverde.org.
About the AJGA
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.