ALLEN LEADS FIELD OF 96 BOYS WITH OPENING-ROUND 70 AT CHATEAU ELAN
Atlanta native shoots the lone round under par
BRASELTON, Ga. — Playing in the first round of his first AJGA tournament, Randall Allen, 17, of Atlanta, did what no other competitor at the Ashworth Junior at Chateau Elan could — shoot under par on the par-71 Chateau Course. Allen, who started Saturday's opening-round shotgun on the third hole, carded two birdies to only one bogey en route to posting a 1-under-par 36-34—70, giving him a two-stroke lead over Aristo Shyn of Bradenton, Fla., heading into Sunday's final round.
The Ashworth Junior at Chateau Elan, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, is a 36-hole stroke play competition being held on Chateau Elan Resort's Chateau Course, which is set up to 6,759 yards. The 96 players in this weekend's field represent 17 states and Brazil.
The AJGA's Ashworth Junior Series is a series designed 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 or previous calendar year.
With a steady round that included 11 fairways and 13 greens in regulation, Allen's two birdies came when he was able to hit his approaches close to the hole. On the 184-yard, par-3 eighth, Allen stuck his 6-iron tee shot to within one foot of the hole for his first birdie of the day, bringing him back to even par after a bogey on the 404-yard, par-4 fifth. He continued his round with eight consecutive pars (Nos. 9-16) before making another birdie on the 374-yard, par-4 17th. A 9-iron from 125 yards put him within four feet for his other birdie of the day.
“I'm really happy with the decisions and shots I made today,” Allen said. “I putted pretty well, hit a lot of fairways and greens, and put myself in a good position heading into tomorrow. I just need to go into tomorrow with the same outlook as today — don't be too safe, but don't be too aggressive.”
Shyn, 16, posted a 1-over-par 37-35—72 with the help of birdies on Nos. 2, 12, 15 and 16. The highlight of his round came on the par-4, 413-yard second hole. After a drive of more than 300 yards that cleared the creek crossing the fairway, Shyn's “disappointing” second shot left him nearly 50 feet for birdie. He recovered by sinking this putt, inking his fourth and final birdie on the day after starting on No. 4.
“It was a bomb,” Shyn said of the putt after his round.
He feels confident in his chances during Sunday's final round after a good ball-striking day, he said.
“I'm going to try and stay as relaxed as possible and do my best,” he continued. “I'm pretty satisfied with what I have going right now.”
Wes Carter, 17, of Hoover, Ala., and Carter Newman, 17, of Evans, Ga., each fired 2-over-par 73s to sit two shots back in a tie for third. Alone in fifth with a 4-over-par 75 is Jason Millard of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
Sunday's final round will begin with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. For more information regarding the Ashworth Junior at Chateau Elan, call the AJGA's National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200, ext. 701.
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