CORNELIUS, N.C. — North Carolina native Grayson Murray, of Raleigh, carded a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 to lead the Boys Division by two strokes after Wednesday's opening round of play at the Sta-Green® Junior All-Star Championship at The Peninsula Club. In the Girls Division, Yueer Cindy Feng of Orlando, Fla., shot even-par 72 to pace the field.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Sta-Green® Junior All-Star Championship is the one of nine events in the AJGA's 2008 Junior All-Star Series, a collection of tournaments specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15. The competition provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Sta-Green® Junior All-Star Championship features 99 players from 22 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The field consists of 81 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18. The Boys Division is playing The Peninsula Club par-72 course at 6,885 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 5,987 yards.
Murray, who finished second in the 2007 AJGA Junior All-Star at Petersburg, said he didn't have any expectations going into today's round.
“I just had a game plan to keep it in play off the tee and that's what happened,” Murray said.
The 14-year-old's game plan worked well and Murray wrapped up the round with five birdies on Nos. 1, 4, 9, 11, and 18.
Michael Johnson of Birmingham, Ala., finished the day in second place with a 3-under-par 69. In third place, Hunter Stewart of Nicholasville, Ky., Michael Kim of Del Mar, Calif., Forrest Riddle of Greenville, S.C., and Will Murphy of Columbia, S.C. tied at even-par 72.
In the Girls Division, Feng made birdie on the par-5 first hole and the par-3 seventh hole. Although her driving was not as accurate as she would like, Feng's short game was good enough to keep her in the lead.
“The greens were fast today, but there were some easy birdie holes,” Feng said.
This is Feng's third AJGA event and the 12-year-old is in position to finish the week maintaining an undefeated record for the 2008 season.
“I just like to play golf,” Feng said. “I do the best I can competing with myself mainly.
Area local, Katie Kirk of Davidson, finished in second place after shooting a 4-over-par 76. Collins Bradshaw of Columbia, S.C., wrapped up the top three with a 6-over-par 78.
The players in the Sta-Green® Junior All-Star Championship will look to follow the paths of notable juniors who played in Junior All-Star events and went on to become some of junior golf's greats, including Rolex Junior Players of the Year Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla. (2005, 2007), and Philip Francis of Scottsdale, Ariz. (2006).
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.
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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
The second round of the Sta-Green® Junior All-Star Championship begins Thursday, June 19 with tee times running off the first tee from 7 a.m. to 11:48 a.m. at The Peninsula Club. For more information about the Sta-Green® Junior All-Star Championship, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (704) 896-7080, ext. 229.