COONAN FIRES FIRST-ROUND 69 TO LEAD AT FIRST AMERICAN TITLE JUNIOR CLASSIC
Bodemann tops field with 72 in Girls Division
LUTZ, Fla.— Fletcher Coonan of Maitland, Fla., fired a 2-under-par 69 to claim a first-round lead in the First American Title Junior Classic Tuesday. Alexandra Bodemann of Palm City, Fla., carded a 72 to top the Girls Division by one stroke.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the seventh-annual First American Title Junior Classic is a 54-hole stroke-play competition featuring 84 boys and girls from 12 states and five foreign countries. Home to the PGA TOUR's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, the Tournament Players Club of Tampa Bay is hosting the event for the first time.
In the Boys Division, Coonan contributed his successful round, which included three birdies, to his solid short game.
“My short game was really on,” Coonan said, who only hit eight greens in regulation. “I had a lot of up and downs to save par.”
Coonan, who leads the field by two strokes, hopes to keep his game consistent in the second round, but also to focus on his iron play.
“I am going to grind it out with my irons, but keep the same attitude Wednesday,” Coonan said.
Following two strokes behind Coonan are Adam Long of Defiance, Mo., Phillip Choi of Orlando, Fla., and George Letson of Tampa, Fla., at even-par 71. Christian Blanchet of Gainesville, Fla., and Chun Hung Chan of Bradenton, Fla., are tied for fifth at 73.
In the Girls Division, Bodemann attributed her successful round to dependable putting and iron play.
“I have been putting really well for the past month,” Bodemann said. “I drove the ball well and my irons were on. It was nice to put some close.”
Bodemann leads the field by one stroke and plans to hit the driving range in preparation for Wednesday's second round.
Following close behind Bodemann was Calle Nielson of Nashville, Tenn., at 73. Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla., Lindy Duncan of Plantation, Fla., Michelle Shin of Cape Coral, Fla., Sandra Changkija of Orlando, Fla., Jade Bollinger of Wellington, Fla., and Christina Miller of Bradenton, Fla., are tied for third at 74.
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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual 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 is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The second round of the First American Title Junior Classic will be held at the Tournament Players Club of Tampa Bay off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees, Wednesday, June 28, with tee times running from 7:00-8:57 a.m. For more information about the First American Title Junior Classic please contact tournament headquarters at (813) 949-0091, ext.207, or call Tournament Director Whitney Ross at (770) 861-0519.