Connelly Takes Early Lead in First Round of Junior All-Star at Penn State
Nguyen shoots lowest score of field at Penn State Golf Course
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Austin Connelly of Las Colinas, Texas, shot a 3-under-par 69 to finish the first round of the Junior All-Star at Penn State in the lead. Bryana Nguyen shot the lowest score of the entire field with a score of 4-under-par 68 and leads the Girls Division.
The Junior All-Star at Penn State is a 54-hole, stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Penn State Golf Course — Blue Course in State College, Pa. The tournament field consists of 96 players, 72 boys and 24 girls, from 18 states, Mexico and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,709 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,985 yards.
Fresh off of an AJGA win at the Junior All-Star at Hilton Head, Connelly had a solid first round. After starting with a bogey on No. 1, Connelly rallied back to have 5 birdies on the day.
“I was just hitting my driver and irons really well. I only missed three greens and I left myself a lot of opportunities,” Connelly said. “There is a lot of golf left to be played. I'm very happy, but I just need to keep it up.”
Finishing in second place for the round were Randall Herriott from Brandywine, Md., and William Register from Burlington, N.C., with scores of 2-under-par 70. Rounding out the top five for the Boys Division were Luke Farley of Hamilton, Mass., and Tyler Olmsted of Boyds, Md., tied for fourth with scores of 1-under-par 71.
Nguyen had an eagle on No. 9 to grab some momentum heading to the back nine. She finished strong on No. 17 with a 35-foot putt for birdie.
“I've never led an AJGA event and never shot under 70, so I feel great about today,” Nguyen said. “There are a lot of good girls out here, and I just want to keep it going for the rest of the week.”
Cheyenne Knight of Spring, Texas, finished the round with an even-par 72. Finishing with scores of 1-over-par 73 and tying for third place were Isabella DiLisio of Hatfield, Pa., and Abby Lim of Tenafly, N.J.
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.
For more information on the Junior All-Star at Penn State, contact Tournament Director Lindsay Dodge at (770) 365-1699 or visit the website at ajga.org.