RAMSEY, STRAKA CLAIM LEAD AFTER STORMY FIRST ROUND AT CHATEAU ELAN JUNIOR ALL-STAR PRESENTED BY FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES
Thunderstorm forces first round to finish Saturday
BRASELTON, Ga. — Thunderstorms forced two suspensions of play Friday, the second one ending the day before the Boys Division was complete at the Chateau Elan Junior All-Star presented by Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The Girls Division completed their first round Friday with Ashlan Ramsey of Augusta, Ga., in the lead, while the boys finished up Saturday morning with Sam Straka of Valdosta, Ga., as the leader.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Chateau Elan Junior All-Star presented by Fellowship of Christian Athletes features 90 boys and 42 girls, ages 12-18, from 26 states and Canada, Chile and Colombia. The 54-hole stroke play event is being staged on the par-71 Chateau Course at Chateau Elan Resort. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,607 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 5,826 yards.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. The series concludes with the Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
In the Girls Division, 13-year-old Ramsey shot 37-34—71 and claimed a two-stroke lead, despite awaking in the morning with a sharp pain in her abdomen. She felt the pain with every swing of the club.
In response, Ramsey “tried to take it easier today and use a little more club than usual.”
While the pain grew worse toward the end of the round, Ramsey's game grew stronger as she converted two late birdies to shoot an even-par 71. Hitting an 8-iron to four feet on the 141-yard, par-3 16th hole, Ramsey carded the first of two consecutive birdies. On the par-4 17th, she drained a 20-foot uphill left-breaking birdie putt.
“I had a couple putts early in the round that didn't go in, but they finally dropped, so it was quite an accomplishment,” Ramsey said.
Trailing Ramsey by two shots in second place is her sister Taylor Ramsey at 2-over-par 73, along with Collins Bradshaw of Columbia, S.C. Tied for fourth are Minami Levonowich of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Stephanie Hsieh of Alamo, Calif., at 3-over-par 74.
In the Boys Division, Straka's noon tee time gave him the chance to finish before the storms blew in again. With 51 of 90 boys remaining on the golf course, a late-afternoon thunderstorm moved toward Chateau Elan Resort, forcing play to be suspended for the remainder of the day. The first round resumed Saturday morning, yet no one was able to catch Straka, who fired a 2-under-par 35-34—69, thanks to five birdies on the day.
Two shots back were a trio of players: Alex Kang of Tigard, Ore., Wyndham Clark of Greenwood Village, Colo., and Joey Petronio of Orlando, Fla., each at even-par 71.
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 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
Tee times for the second round of the Chateau Elan Junior All-Star presented by Fellowship of Christian Athletes will run from 9 — 10:30 a.m. and 1 — 2:30 p.m. Saturday on the first and 10th tees at Chateau Course at Chateau Elan. A cut to the top 42 boys and ties and top 18 girls and ties will follow the second round, and the tournament will conclude Sunday.
For more information contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 425-1802.
GARY GILCHRIST GOLF ACADEMY, a full-time junior golf training and development program, enters its first year as an Official Partner of the AJGA. The partnership features an endowment of an AJGA Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which provides juniors access to national competitive golf opportunities.