DENMAN SEIZES ONE-STROKE LEAD AFTER FIRST ROUND AT BURGETT H. MOONEY, JR. ROME CLASSIC
Ashlan Ramsey heats up on back nine for Girls Division lead
ROME, Ga. — Payne Denman of Riverwatch, Tenn., got off to a hot start Tuesday morning and coasted to the scoring tent with a first-round 5-under-par 66, good for the Boys Division lead at the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic. Ashlan Ramsey of Augusta, Ga., carded a 2-under-par 69 to lead the Girls Division at Coosa Country Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Coosa Country Club in Rome, Ga. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 19 states and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 Coosa Country Club course at 6,821 yards, and the Girls Division is playing at 6,030 yards.
Denman, who bagged a second-place finish earlier this month at the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic, teed off in the third group Tuesday and took advantage of the calm early-morning conditions with a front-nine 4-under-par 32. He credited his low score to his approach play.
“I hit my approach shots to a good distance,” Denman said. “Some days they're not as close…I got lucky I guess. I had lots of birdie chances.”
Tied for second on the Boys Division leaderboard, after each carded a 4-under-par 67, are Jack Yancey of Rome, Ga., Kevin Lee of Dacula, Ga., and Adam Schenk of Vincennes, Ind. Meanwhile, Harry Higgs of Overland Park, Kan., Sean Kelly of Staten Island, N.Y., Sawyer Shaw of West Palm Beach, Fla., Ian Phillips of Acworth, Ga., and David Mills of Evansville, Ind., are all tied for fifth at 3-under-par 68.
In the Girls Division, Ramsey sat at 1-over-par after 14 holes before making a late charge to take the first-round lead. Her birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 18 boosted her past Kelly Drack of Melbourne, Fla., and she said her putting was the key in her round.
“My putting was really good today,” Ramsey said. “I felt like I was making a lot of putts and that helped my score.”
Drack sits in second in the Girls Division after the Denver signee carded a 1-under-par 70. Chelsea Pezzola of Bradenton, Fla., Jordan Britt of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Alice Kim of Honolulu, are all tied at 1-over-par after each carded a 72.
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 (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and more than 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.
Second-round tee times for the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic will run from 7:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. off the No.1 tee at Coosa Country Club. For more information, please call Tournament Headquarters at (706) 234-7131.