Maderas Golf Club
Poway, Calif. • August 17 - 20


Zhang and Na tied for Girls Division lead at Emerson Junior Golf Classic


POWAY, calif. — Kevin DeHuff of Coto de Caza, Calif., took the first-round lead at the Emerson Junior Golf Classic on Tuesday after shooting 5-under-par 67. Nicole Zhang of Calgary, Alberta and Grace Na of Oakland, Calif., are tied for the Girls Division lead after each shot 1-under-par 71.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Emerson Junior Golf Classic is 18-hole stroke play event being held at Maderas Golf Club. The tournament field features 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 10 states and
Canada.  The Boys Division played the par-72 course from 7,084 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,065 yards.

DeHuff had a nearly flawless first-round. He began the front nine fairly steady, staying 1-under through six holes. On No. 7 DeHuff hit a hot streak, making birdies on four of the next five holes. He then went on to birdie No. 14 and bogey No. 16, leaving him 2-under on the back nine, finishing the round at 5-under-par 67.

“This was the best I’ve played in awhile,” DeHuff said. “Maderas is a hard course. You have to grind on every shot and you can’t let a bogey get to you. You just have to trust that birdies are coming.”

Sitting in second after shooting 2-under-par 70 is Andrew Levitt of
Laguna Niguel, Calif. Steven Kearney of Carlsbad, Calif., and John Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., are tied for third after each shot 1-under-par 71. Tied for fifth after shooting even-par 72 are Anthony Kim of Cerritos, Calif., Michael Moorhead of Newport Beach, Calif., Matthew Negri of El Cajon, Calif., Rak Cho of Brea, Calif., and Andrew Carreon of San Antonio, Texas.

In the Girls Division, Zhang had a steady round, recording three birdies against two bogeys on the front to finish at 1-under-par 35. Zhang then played the back nine even-par to finish the round at 1-under-par 71. But for Zhang, the best part of AJGA tournaments is getting to spend time with friends.

“I had a lot of fun today,” Zhang said. “It’s always nice to play with friends because everyone is supportive. I look forward to coming to tournaments and seeing my friends. They become more like family when you see them every week.”

Na started the round off strong, recording birdies on Nos. 1, 3 and 5. She struggled on No. 9 and ended up with a double bogey, finishing the front at 1-under-par 35. Refusing to let the error get to her, Na maintained her composure and shot even-par on the back, finishing the round tied with Zhang at 1-under-par 71.

“I was hitting poorly on the driving range,” Na said. “I also wasn’t putting very well in practice, so I went into the round pretty nervous. But I kept my emotions together and let go of whatever negativity I had, which helped me come back after No. 9.”

Rachel Morris of
Carlsbad, and Emily Tubert of Burbank, Calif., are tied for third after each shot even-par 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 AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

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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 Emerson Junior Golf Classic will run from
7:15 – 9:03 a.m. off the No. 1 tee and from 7:18 – 9:06 a.m. of the No. 10 tee Wednesday at Maderas Golf Club.

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