DEAVER AND PLAGER TOP 75-PLAYER FIELD, SHOOTING OPENING-ROUND 72
MEDICUS POSTSEASON JUNIOR AT ALEXANDRIA
ALEXANDRIA, La. — Nicholas Deaver of Waco, Texas, and Henry Plager of Indianapolis, topped the leaderboard Saturday after firing even-par 72 to lead by one stroke at the Medicus Postseason Junior at Alexandria.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Medicus Postseason Junior at Alexandria is being held at OakWing Golf Club. Part of the Medicus Preseason/Postseason Junior Series, the tournament is a 36-hole stroke play event and consists of 75 boys, ages 12-18, from 18 states, including 11 players from Louisiana. The par-72 golf course is playing to 6,745 yards.
Deaver, a 2008 graduate, made par on 13 holes, en route to shooting an even-par 72. In addition, Deaver, who is playing in his second-ever AJGA postseason event, made consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 13 and 14, later adding a third on the 560-yard, par-5 16th hole. The 16-year-old credits his low score to his performance on and near the greens, saying that he needs to work on his driving and long iron shots for the final round on Sunday.
“My putting and short game saved me the entire day,” said Deaver. “For the final round, I'd love to shoot even-par again, or better. My goal is definitely to finish in the top-10, if not win the event.”
Plager carded a strong 1-under-par 35 on the front nine and followed it up with a 1-over-par 37 on the back nine to total an even-par 72 after 18 holes. All-around consistent play contributed to the 15-year-old's low score. Throughout the round, Plager recorded par on 13 holes and made birdie on two of the par-4s on the front nine, hole Nos. 3 and 5. On the back nine, like Deaver, Plager made birdie on hole No. 14.
“I didn't have my complete game, but I made good decisions and managed my game well,” said Plager. “I did good with what I had.”
As for the final round, Plager has his sights set on the win, but is also focused on playing well to improve his AJGA status.
“Of course I would like to win and get my exemptions,” said Plager. “I am just trying to set myself up for next year as I get closer to the college-age. As for my performance today, I feel good with where I'm at. You can't win on the first day, but you can lose. I just feel like I put myself in good striking position for tomorrow.”
In third place is Cameron Thomas of Germantown, Tenn., who shot a 1-over-par 73. Anchored by two birdies on the front nine and three on the back nine, Thomas stands just one shot off the pace set by the leaders.
Four boys are tied for fourth place, after carding 2-over-par 74. Dylan Waters of Franklin, Tenn., Gavin Ticheli of Mangham, La., Robert Schmidt of Coral Springs, Fla., and Kevin Garbizo also of Coral Springs stand two strokes off the leaders.
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.
The Medicus Preseason/Postseason Series is designed for new AJGA members or members who have yet to play in an AJGA event. The series provides an opportunity for members to gain status in Performance Based Entry, which in turn will increase their ability to play in future AJGA events.
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.
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, Candie Kung, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.
The final round of the Medicus Postseason Junior at Alexandria will begin Sunday at OakWing Golf Club with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. For more information on the Medicus Postseason Junior at Alexandria, please call tournament headquarters at (318) 561-0260.