HOLEN DOMINATES FIRST ROUND AT PRESEASON JUNIOR AT OAK VALLEY
Wu leads Girls Division after first round at Oak Valley Golf Club
BEAUMONT, Calif. — J.J. Holen of Castaic, Calif., fired a 5-under-par 67, to take the No. 1 spot in the Boys Division after the first round of the Preseason Junior at Oak Valley. Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, Calif., carded a 3-under-par 69, to steal a five-stroke lead in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Oak Valley is a 36-hole stroke-play event being held at Oak Valley Golf Club. The tournament field consists of 72 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from nine states and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,909 yards, while the Girls Division is playing it at 5,892 yards.
Holen, 16, came into the first round knowing he had the talent and was determined to combat the pressures of his first AJGA event. Working with his coach, he has learned to approach his game shot by shot.
“I tried to focus on each shot and made sure to not concentrate so much on my scores,” Holen said. “I was hitting my wedges really great today and made a lot of 15-footers.”
Holen made eight birdies for the day on Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 16 and 18.
In the Boys Division, Scott Lowe of Calgary, Canada carded a 1-under-par 71 for second place. Tied for third at even par are Kevin Allen of San Clemente, Calif., Keenan Nelson of Murrieta, Calif., and Jonathan Sanders of Chatsworth, Calif.
Playing in her first AJGA event, 14-year-old Wu carded birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 4, 13 and 17. She said her goal was to stay composed and have fun.
“I had a lot of fun out there today,” Wu said. “My putting was great and so was my iron game. It feels great to have this lead heading into the final round.”
For the Girls Division, in second and in a three-way tie at 2-over-par 74, are Meng-Chu Chen of Beaumont, Calif., Yang Yue Hill of Palm Desert, Calif., and Morgan Thompson of Tualatin, Ore.
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.
Golf Academy of America, with campuses located in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando and Myrtle Beach, is the oldest and largest two-year golf career college in the world. GAA's 16-month program balances classroom studies, practical experience and comprehensive understanding of the business of golf. For more information, call 800-342-7342 or visit http://www.golfacademy.edu.
The final round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun start Sunday, May 10, at Oak Valley Golf Club. For more information on the Preseason Junior at Oak Valley, please contact Tournament Director Sean Riley at (678) 617-2420.