Yang gets first-round glory with a one-stroke lead at the I.R.I. Golf Group Oakridge Junior
GARLAND, Texas—At the end of the first day of the I.R.I. Golf Group Oakridge Junior, Jeff Howard walked off No. 18 green a little more sentimental than when he started his round. A beautiful bogey-free round of 7-under-par 64 at Oakridge Country Club put him at the top of the leaderboard for the first round of his last AJGA tournament. In the Girls Division, Glory Yang shot a 2-over-par 73 and secured a one-stroke lead over the competition going into the second round.
The I.R.I. Golf Group Oakridge Junior is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. The event features 99 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, ages 12-18, from nine states. The field is composed of 70 “LoneStarState” residents.
Howard, 18, of Plano, Texas, said the secret to his success was staying in the fairway and out of trouble.
“I hit my irons really well on the front nine,” Howard said. “I also chipped in three times, so that really helped.”
Howard hit 14 greens and said that his longest putt was from about six feet. Seven total birdies and no bogies sealed him at 7-under with a four-stroke lead going into the second round.
“I’m feeling pretty good about tomorrow,” he said. “I want to hit a bunch of fairways and greens and just stay out of trouble. This could be my tournament.”
He hopes to finish strong and end his AJGA career with his first win.
In a three-way tie for second are Nathan Sheen of Amarillo, Texas, Anthony Broussard of Beaumont, Texas, and Nick Williams of New Braunfels, Texas, with rounds of 3-under-par 68. In a three-way tie for fifth are Cole Howard of Burleson, Texas, Chance Pipitone of Houston, Texas, and Nuno Henriques of Bradenton, Fla., with rounds of 2-under-par 69.
Yang, 16, of Murrieta, Calif., had a glorious start to her day with a birdie on No. 1.
“My drive was good. I hit a 6-iron to two feet,” Yang said.
She said her putting and chipping were on target, as well as her tee shots.
“The course isn’t really that long,” she said. “The thing that tricked me up was how curvy it is. There are a lot of dog-legs and I had a hard time trying to choose a club to use.”
In second is Caney Hines of San Antonio, Texas, with a round of 3-over-par 74. In third is Whitney Osborne of Amarillo, Texas, with a round of 5-over-par 76.
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 largest association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Second-round tee times will run from , Wednesday at Oakridge Country Club.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch U.S.A., a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information on the I.R.I. Golf Group Oakridge Junior, contact tournament headquarters at (972) 530-8004.
The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
What is Leadership Links?
Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.
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.