James Takes Early Lead at Rochester Open Championship
Campbell and Wong share lead in Girls Division at Ravenwood Golf Club
VICTOR, N.Y. — Austin James of Bath, Ontario, became the early frontrunner at the Rochester Open Championship after carding a 2-under-par 70. In the Girls Division, Talia Campbell of Dallas, and Andrea Wong of San Francisco, are tied for the lead after the first round with scores of 1-over-par 73.
The Rochester Open Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Ravenwood Golf Club in Victor, N.Y. The tournament field consists of 96 players from 15 states and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,976 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 6,123 yards.
James had four birdies on the day, and had the only sub-par score from the tournament field after the first round.
“I hit the driver well today, and my game was pretty steady,” James said. “My consistency paid off and I had no bogeys through 16 holes. It feels really great to be leading, but I just want to play smart golf and make good decisions out there for the rest of the tournament.”
Tied for second with scores of even-par 72 were Austin Connelly of Las Colinas, Texas, and Gregory Hanninen of Barrie, Ontario. Carding a 1-over-par 73 and sitting in fourth is Roshan Chekuri of Pleasanton, Calif. Rounding out the top five with scores of 2-over-par 74 were Ryan Dornes of Lancaster, Pa., Matthew van Niekerk of Rochester, N.Y., Billy Gaffney of Williamsville, N.Y., Raleigh Chapin of Doylestown, Pa., and David Pompey of Clarks Summit, Pa.
In the Girls Division, Campbell had three birdies on the day, and attributes her success in the first round to her accuracy off the tee.
“I was pretty consistent throughout my round,” Campbell said. “I was hitting a ton of fairways and greens. That gave me a lot of good looks at birdies and tap-in pars. It is nice to have a little bit of a cushion, but it is a three-day tournament. If I am able to play par golf, I'll be in good shape.”
Wong tallied four birdies, including three consecutive, on the front nine. That momentum carried her to a first-round lead.
“I played solid golf today,” Wong said. “I was driving the ball well and I birdied Nos. 6, 7 and 8, which kept me in the game. I just went into the back nine wanting to shoot even-par. I knew that would put me in a good position for the next few days. There is still a lot of golf to be played and I just hope to continue playing my game.”
Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division were Hana Ku of Basking Ridge, N.J., and Christine Schmitt of Pittsford, N.Y., tied for third place with scores of 2-over-par 74.
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The second round of the Rochester Open Championship will start at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee for the Boys and Girls Divisions. For more information about the Rochester Open Champion, please contact Kristi Bradley at (585) 245-2782.