Martino Leads after First Round of Preseason Junior at Brookhaven
Wong in front in Girls Division at Brookhaven Country Club
DALLAS — Vincent Martino, 16, of Southlake, Texas, posted a 1-under-par 71 Saturday to claim a two-stroke lead in the Boys Division at the Preseason Junior at Brookhaven. Alexandra Wong, 15, of San Francisco, shot 5-over-par 77 to open up a four-stroke lead in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Brookhaven features 95 boys and girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states, Canada and Ireland. The 36-hole stroke play event is being held at the par-72 Brookhaven Country Club — Masters Course. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,678 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 6,123 yards.
The Preseason Junior at Brookhaven is one of eight events held as part of the Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series. The Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.
Martino carded four birdies on his way to the only under-par round of the day. A long hitter off the tee, he relied on his short game to propel him into the lead today. A chip-in on No. 15 and steady putting all day vaulted him into the lead in his first AJGA event.
“In my practice round, I noticed how fast the greens are,” Martino explained. “Putting was the strongest part of my game today. It's pretty exciting to be leading after the first round.”
Jamison Youree of Fort Worth, Texas, sits two shots back of Martino after a round of 1-over-par 73. Andrew Scamardo of College Station, Texas, and Chapman Herwood of Tyler, Texas, are tied for third at 2-over-par 74. Christian Hallman of Sugar Land, Texas, is in fifth after shooting 3-over-par 75.
In the Girls Division, Wong drained birdie putts of 15 and 20 feet on the first two holes to set the tone for the lowest round of the day. Also in her first AJGA event, she credited her ability to stay poised all afternoon.
“I stayed really relaxed today,” Wong said. “I had to scramble a lot, but I kept it in play and left myself makeable putts.”
Ali Cowan of Victoria, Texas, finished in second after a round of 9-over-par 81. Betty Chen of Castro Valley, Calif., and Haley Haught of Austin, Texas, are tied for third at 10-over-par 82.
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 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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
The final-round shotgun will be at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, April 11, at Brookhaven Country Club — Masters Course. For more information about the Preseason Junior at Brookhaven, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 327-6982.