Jones, Hack Lead after First Round
at Preseason Junior at Château Élan
Players battle against the heat in tournament's opening round
BRASELTON, Ga. — Rhyne Jones of Blowing Rock, N.C., sits atop the leaderboard after Sunday's opening round of the Preseason Junior at Château Élan as he fired a 3-under-par 68. In the Girls Division, Anna Hack of Paducah, Ky., is pacing the competition after carding an opening-round, 1-over-par 72, giving her a one-stroke lead heading into Monday's final round.
The Preseason Junior at Château Élan is a 36-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Château Élan in Braselton, Ga. The tournament field includes 75 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 Château Course at 6,645 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,753 yards.
Jones, who recorded six opening-round birdies, including five through the first seven holes, owns a one-stroke lead over Benjamin Wood of Florence, Ala., who carded a 2-under-par 69.
Jones found himself 4-under-par after his first nine holes but admits that Sunday's heat got to him and will affect how he prepares himself for Monday's final round.
“I'm going to have to go back and drink a lot of water and get some good sleep,” said Jones, who lives in the mountains of western North Carolina. “I'm pretty tired since I am not used to this hot weather. However, I hope to have similar success tomorrow by using the same game plan I used for today's round.”
Trailing Jones by one stroke is Wood, who shot a 2-under-par 69. Third place is currently possessed by Ryan Bowie of Madison, Ala., who finished at even-par 71, while Austin Rose of Tupelo, Miss., Andrew Hans of Birmingham, Ala., and Zachary Healy of Norcross, Ga., are tied for fourth at a 1-over-par 72.
In the Girls Division, Hack finds herself atop the leaderboard after posting a 1-over-par 72 in Sunday's opening round. Hack was 1-over-par after her first nine holes before she parlayed back-to-back birdies to begin her second nine. After playing in the AJGA's Taylor Made-adidas Golf Junior All-Star at Château Élan in April, Hack will look to use her past experience to remain ahead of the competition heading into Monday's final round.
“I was really consistent today and I made a bunch of pars,” Hack said. “I feel that since I've seen the course a few times now that I will be able to play with more consistency.”
Hack currently holds a one-stroke lead over Bailey Tardy of Norcross, Ga., who posted a 2-over-par 73, while Janet Mao of Johns Creek, Ga., Avery George of Cleveland, Tenn., and Lauren Stephenson of Lexington, S.C., sit two shots back at a 3-over-par 74.
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, 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.
The final round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun start on the Château Course at Château Élan. For more information contact AJGA Headquarters at (678) 227-8490.