Sanchez Leads Tight Field Through First Round at Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open
Ruiz atop Girls Division with five-stroke lead at El Tigre Golf & Country Club at the Riviera Nayarit
NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, México — Roberto Sanchez of Mazatlan, México, leads all players in the first round of the Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open with a 4-under-par 68. In the Girls Division, Ana Ruiz of Chihuahua, México, sits atop the leaderboard with a score of 1-under-par 71.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event held at El Tigre Golf & Country Club at the Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, México. The 67-player field boasts junior golfers from six states, México, and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,960 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 5,987 yards.
After starting his round with a few loose shots, Sanchez quickly turned things around by saving par on No. 1 to find his rhythm and went on to make four birdies throughout his first round. Sanchez credited strong play on the green to his success.
“I putted well today,” Sanchez said. “I wasn't hitting anything else overly well. Putting saved me in a couple tough spots. I hit the putts when I hit the greens.”
Following closely behind Sanchez in second place with a score of 3-under-par 69 is Domenico Geminiani of Bradenton, Fla. Gustavo Romero of México City, is in third place with a 2-under-par 70. Rounding out the Boys Division tied for fourth are Patrick Sanchez of Mazatlan, México, and Christopher Macasaet of Rancho Murieta, Calif., with an even-par 72.
On a day that started with a steady downfall of rain and ended with the sun glaring, Ruiz stayed focused throughout her round to notch the low-round score in the Girls Division. In preparation for Sunday's second round, Ruiz plans to keep up the mental toughness.
“It was my first time ever playing on the course,” Ruiz said. “It's so humid here, I need to keep my concentration. It's more mental than swinging.”
Maggie Neece of Colleyville, Texas, currently sits in second place with a 4-over-par 76. Ana Laura Gomez of Morelia, México, follows closely behind in third place with a 5-over-par 77.
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.
Second round tee times will run from 8 — 9:50 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Sunday, June 13. For more information about the Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open, please contact Tournament Director Rob Ockenfuss at (678) 425-4976, or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.
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