MILLER LEADS AFTER FIRST ROUND OF NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL FINANCIAL NETWORK - BLUMBERG GROUP JUNIOR CLASSIC
Lee tops Girls Division leaderboard at Richter Park Golf Course
DANBURY, Conn. â€” Michael Miller, 16, of Brewster, N.Y., shot a 2-under-par 70 to lead the Boys Division by one stroke after Wednesday's opening round of play at the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network â€” Blumberg Group Junior Classic. In the Girls Division, Harin Lee, 15, of Bayside, N.Y., shot a 1-over-par 73 to lead the pack.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network â€” Blumberg Group Junior Classic features 144 players from 20 states, two foreign countries and the District of Columbia. The field consists of 108 boys and 36 girls, ages 12-18. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 Richter Park Golf Course at 6,699 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,021 yards.
Miller, who is playing in his second AJGA event, hit fairways and greens, carded five birdies and made critical putts when he needed to. He noted the par-3 third hole as the one that changed the course during his round.
â€śI made a pretty good curler to save par,â€ť Miller said. â€śFrom there I was able to rattle off a few more birdies.â€ť
Mark Mumford of Rye, N.Y., James Pleat of Nashua, N.H., and Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., are tied for second after posting 1-under-par 71s. David Zhang of South Glastonbury, Conn., Jeffrey Hsiao of San Diego, Matthew Ceravolo and Alec Ceravolo of Palm Beach Gardens and Michael McCarthy of Tolland, Conn., are tied for fifth after carding rounds of even-par 72.
In the Girls Division, Lee struggled at times with her tee shots, but found a way to scramble to save par. Lee earned a spot in the field after placing second in Monday's qualifier.
â€śMy approach shots were really key today,â€ť Lee said. â€śI wasn't driving the ball very well, but I was hitting those shots to like seven feet which saved me.â€ť
Jessica Chung of Fayetteville, N.C., sits one stroke back in second place after shooting a 2-over-par 74. Brittany Altomare of Shrewsbury, Mass., Marisa Kamelgarn, Mahopac, N.Y., and Elizabeth Brightwell of Nellysford, Va., are tied for third after carding 3-over-par 75s.
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 an annual junior membership â€” boys and girls ages 12-18 â€” of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 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.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
The second round of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network â€” Blumberg Group Junior Classic is Thursday, August 7 with tee times running off Nos. 1 and 10 tee from 7 â€” 8:39 a.m. and Noon â€” 1:39 p.m. at Richter Park Golf Course. For more information about the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network â€” Blumberg Group Junior Classic, please contact Tournament Director Lauren Shelly at (770) 298-4411.