CROONQUIST AND STENSRUD GRAB SHARE OF THE LEAD AT NORMAN
Hensley dodges the raindrops to take a three-shot lead in Girls Division
NORMAN, Okla. – With one round left to play at the Ashworth Junior at Norman, Hunter Stensrud of Dallas and Peter Croonquist of Lakeland, Minn., share a two-shot lead after firing matching 1-under-par 69s. In the Girls Division, Amber Hensley of Tulsa, Okla., shot a 4-over-par 74 to take a three-shot lead going into the final round.
The Ashworth Junior at Norman is a 36-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Okla. The tournament features 91 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 21 states and three countries, including 10 from Oklahoma.
In the Boys Division, Stensrud started strong by making birdie on his first two holes en route to an even-par 35 on the front side. Although pleased with his first-round performance, Stensrud felt that his round could have been even lower.
“I got up and down all day,” Stensrud said. “I thought I would make some more birdies since I started so well, though.”
Like Stensrud, Croonquist also recorded three birdies on the day, including two on the back nine. A 1-under-par 33 on the inward nine catapulted the Minnesota native to the top of the leaderboard going into Sunday’s final round.
“I was just hitting my driver well, and when you do that here, you can shoot at a lot of the flags,” Croonquist said. “I always knew I could play this well, but it was just whether or not I could do it against this caliber of players.”
Sean Maekawa of Pa’auilo, Hawaii, made three birdies on the back nine and sits alone in third place, after shooting a 1-over-par 71. Jordan Burleson of Edmond, Okla., Marc Sambol of Dallas, and Tai Reynolds of Victoria, British Columbia, are tied for fourth place, four shots back after carding rounds of 3-over-par 73.
As play was finishing in the Girls Division, a heavy rain shower drenched the Norman area, making it a tough go on the last few holes.
When it was all said and done, Hensley had captured a three-shot lead by shooting matching 37s on each nine to finish with a 74. At one point, Hensley was 2-under-par on the front nine, but a double-bogey on No. 5 dashed her early momentum. However, the Tulsa, Okla., native steadied herself and finished the round on a solid note.
“After the double-bogey on the front, I got into the mindset to turn things around and focus more,” Hensley said. “I didn’t worry about my score; I just tried to focus on each shot.”
Lydia Benitez of Dorado, Puerto Rico and Hannah Lavy of Fayetteville, Ark., shot matching rounds of 77 and trail Hensley by three shots with 18 holes to play.
The Ashworth Junior series was created specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year. Juniors ages 12-18 are eligible for entry into these events. For those who are eligible, participation is limited to one Preseason event and one Postseason event per calendar year as long as they have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event.
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.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
The final round will be an shotgun start Sunday at Belmar Golf Club. For more information about the Ashworth Junior at Norman, please contact tournament headquarters at (405) 364-0111.
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.