Colanta Takes Early Lead at Aldila Junior All-Star at Robinson Ranch Golf Club
Chia and Reynolds tied for top spot in the Girls Division
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Timothy Colanta of Monroe, N.J., leads the Boys Division by two strokes after firing a 5-under-par 67 in the first round of the Aldila Junior All-Star at Robinson Ranch Golf Club. Jocelyn Chia of La Crescenta, Calif., and Katelyn Reynolds of Los Angeles share the Girls Division lead each with a 2-over-par 74.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Aldila Junior All-Star is a 54-hole stroke-play competition held at Robinson Ranch Golf Club on the Valley Course. The 95-player field features golfers from ten states, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Thailand. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,710 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 5,784 yards.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. The series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Playing in his second AJGA event, Colanta had a steady first round, carding five birdies and no bogies. He was able to stay in the fairway and hit plenty of greens which made his short game easy for him. Colanta made several long putts for par and a few that lipped in for birdie.
“I started playing AJGA events last year and I am excited to be doing so well,” Colanta said. “I am getting stronger as I get older so the courses are playing easier for me.”
Collin Morikawa of La Cañada Flintridge, Calif. sits in second place, two strokes behind the leader at 3-under-par 69. In third place is Hayden Shieh of Fremont, Calif., at 1-under-par 71. Tied for fourth are Brock Drogosch of Westlake Village, Calif., and Andrew Morgan of Long Beach, Calif., at 1-over-par 73.
In the Girls Division, Chia got off to a rough start after bogeying her second hole, but was able to come back with two birdies on Nos. 4 and 9 and shot even par on the front nine.
“The course played tough,” Chia said. “I need to work on my fairway woods. I was hitting balls left and right. Luckily I didn't lose any balls and I hit my irons well.”
Coming off her medalist honors from Sunday's National Qualifier, Reynolds says she is playing well and was able to conquer the more difficult holes on the course. She sat at 3-over-par after nine holes and knew there were birdie opportunities on the next few holes.
“After the front nine, I knew I could make up strokes, I took advantage and birdied No. 10,” Reynolds said.
Two players also share the third place spot in the Girls Division. Alexandra Sborov of Pleasanton, Calif., and Alexandra Kaui of Henderson, Nev., are both at 3-over-par 75.
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 run from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. off No. 1 tee on Wednesday, July 14. For more information about the Aldila Junior All-Star, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 327-6982.
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