Griffin and Kim Thrive in First Round of AJGA New Jersey Junior
Araskog leads the Girls Division at White Beeches Golf & Country Club
HAWORTH, N.J. — Will Griffin of Lufkin, Texas, and Peter Kim of Metuchen, N.J., are tied for the lead in the Boys Division after the first round of the AJGA New Jersey Junior at 3-under-par 68. In the Girls Division, Caroline Araskog of Locust Valley, N.Y., sits in the lead at even par 71.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA New Jersey Junior is a 54-hole stroke play event held at White Beeches Golf & Country Club
. The field features 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states, Thailand, Colombia and Canada. The par-71 course is playing at 6,510 yards in the Boys Division and 5,995 yards in the Girls Division.
Griffin had no struggles with his putting on the day considering he gave himself plenty of short putts, sinking four birdies on the front nine and three birdies on the back nine.
“I hit the ball really close today,” said Griffin. “I think the longest putt I made was about 12 feet and I made seven birdies, so all of them were inside of 12 feet.”
Kim credited his five birdies to the accuracy of his drives.
“The best part of my game today was my ball striking,” said Kim. “I could really hit the shots straight and accurate, which led to the putts I made.”
Two strokes behind Griffin is Ji Soo Park of Centreville, Va., holding a 1-under-par 70. Tied for fourth are Greg Schmaus of Upper Saddle River, N.J., Vincent Martino of Southlake, Texas, Michael Troy of Stamford, Conn., and Mark Reilly of Babylon, N.Y. at even-par 71.
Araskog was close to finishing her front nine before a two-hour rain delay brought her even par start to a halt. After the delay, Araskog had little distractions. Her focus was to stay consistent and play steady golf. She said her focus will be no different in the second round.
“The best part of my game today was my irons into the green and my putting,” said Araskog. “After the rain delay, I just wanted to make as many pars as possible without going for anything too crazy.”
In second is Harin Lee of Bayside, N.Y., at 3-over-par 74. In third is Kuriko Tsukiyama of Bogota, N.J. at 4-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 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 New Jersey Junior will be Wednesday, July 14 from 7 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at 678-617-2427.