Chandler and Lail lead first round in Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation
Landino atop the Girls Division at The Founders Club in AJGA debut
SOUTHPORT, N.C. — Chandler Ayers of Greer, S.C., and Tyler Lail of Conover, N.C., each carded a 1-over-par 73 to hold a one-stroke lead in the Boys Division by one stroke after the first round of play. Olivia Landino of Hermitage, Pa., tops the Girls Division after shooting a 5-over-par 77.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation is a 36-hole stroke play competition being played at The Founders Club. The par-72 course plays at 6,507 yards for the boys and 5,695 yards for the girls. The 95-player field features players from 12 states and Canada.
Ayers, was pleased with how he played today on the challenging course of The Founders Club.
“I felt very confident today with my swing,” Ayers said. “I putted really well and I need to stay positive and hit the ball well tomorrow to continue this.”
Lail, who played in this event last year, thought his short game was the key during the windy course conditions.
“My putting and chipping really kept me in there today,” Lial said. “I feel pretty good about tomorrow I just need to hit the fairways and greens and I'll be in good shape.”
Archer Price of Gastonia, N.C., Griffin Clark of Colonial Heights, Va., Troy Beaver of Salisbury, N.C. and Paul Kester of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., sit in a tie for third place at 2-over-par 74.
In the Girls Division, Landino is playing in her first AJGA event and was a bit nervous before play started, but quickly got into a rhythm and played well all day long.
“My short game was really good for me today, I got a few last minute tips from my coach that really helped me out,” Landino said. “Tomorrow I just need to not think about everything and just stay focused and I should be good.”
Alaina Yeatts of Durham, N.C., is in second place after shooting a 6-over-par 78 while Cecily Overbey of High Point N.C., and Sydney Legacy of Lexington, S.C., are currently in third place with a score of 9-over-par 81.
The AJGA's Preseason Junior Series is designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.
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 more than 40 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 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
Final-round tee times will run from 8-10:01 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at St. James Plantation-The Founders Club. For more information about the AJGA Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation, contact tournament headquarters at (770) 861-0519 or visit ajga.org.