Birthday Birdies Lift Liang to Lead at AJGA Junior at River Creek
Brewer, Abrea go even to take first-round lead in Girls Division at River Creek Club
Leesburg, Va. â€” Zheng Liang of Bradenton, Fla., made a grand entrance in the first round of the AJGA Junior at River Creek with a 6-under-par 66. In the Girls Division, Shabril Brewer of Herndon, Va., and Tisha Alyn Abrea of Murrieta, Calif., each shot an even-par 72 at River Creek Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at River Creek is a 54-hole stroke play event held at River Creek Club. The field features 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 18 states, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Italy. The par-72 course is playing at 6,986 yards in the Boys Division and 6,104 yards in the Girls Division.
Liang celebrated his 17th birthday making eight birdies and 11 putts from 15-20 feet in the first round to card a personal best while playing in a tournament on his birthday for the first time.
â€śBecause it was my birthday, I just wanted to play my best and ended up shooting the best score I ever have,â€ť said Liang. â€śMy first birdie was on No. 2 and after that, my confidence kept building, so I kept making birdies.â€ť
Kraig McLeod of Pebble Beach, Calif., is in second with a 4-under-par 68. In third is Andrew Lister of Haymarket, Va., with a 3-under-par 69. Tied for fourth are Noori Hyun of Centreville, Va., and Alex Church of Timonium, Md., at 2-under-par 70.
In the Girls Division, Brewer sunk five birdies, leaving her with a pleasing first round. â€śEverything came together today, a couple putts did not fall, but everything else did,â€ť said Brewer. â€śI just tried to relax and go shot by shot, trying not to worry too much about my score. My approach shots helped me a lot today. I just want to play the same game tomorrow.â€ť
Abrea was 2-under-par from Nos. 5 to 14. Sandwiched between birdies on Nos. 7 and 14, she had six straight pars but was dreading No.18 until she sank her final birdie of the day.
â€śMy game today was up and down, but my approach shots saved me a lot,â€ť said Abrea. I want to work on my putting for the second round. A lot of my putts lipped out and missed by inches.â€ť
Third in the Girls Division is Katie Kirk of Davidson, N.C., with a 1-over-par 73.
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 AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Second round tee times for the AJGA Junior at River Creek will be from 7 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information, please contact the Tournament Director Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana at 678-617-2424.