Truslow's two eagles give him first-round lead at Preseason Junior at Ocala
Brooks and Stoner share Girls Division lead at Golden Hills Golf & Turf Club in their AJGA debut
OCALA, Fla. — Austen Truslow, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., carded a 3-under-par 69 to lead the Boys Division while Erica Stoner of Ocala, Fla., and Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Fla., each shot an even-par 72 to set the pace in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Ocala hosted by Ocala-Marion Sports Commission is a 36-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72 Golden Hills Golf & Turf Club. The boys are playing at 6,683 yards and the girls are playing 5,732 yards. The 96-player field features players from eight states, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Truslow, who is playing in his first AJGA event, felt a little nervous before play began, but quickly showed some confidence after making a birdie on the first hole. Truslow's first round also consisted of two eagles on the day.
“I have been very confident with my swing recently and my putter was working everywhere today,” Truslow said. “I just have to play one shot at a time, play my game and have fun because that's what it is all about.”
Kristopher Kowalchuk of Burlington, Ontario and Austin Padova of Hudson, Fla., are each tied for second after shooting a 1-under-par 71. Riley Davenport of Woodstock, Ga., and Andrew Eunice of Moultrie, Ga., shot an even-par 72 and are in a tie for fourth.
In the Girls Division, 12 year-old Brooks sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the No. 18 green to pull into a tie with Stoner and was very excited about her first AJGA event.
“I played really solid today, I made a lot of good putts and I struck the ball really well,” Brooks said. “I just need to focus on one shot at a time and play well tomorrow.”
Stoner finished strong on the back-nine after making a birdie at No. 14 and finished the last four holes bogey-free.
“My driver was a bit off today, but I just need to work on that and continue sinking putts,” Stoner said. “I feel good about the way I played against these tough competitors.”
Alyssa Getty of Leamington, Ontario, and Mika Liu of Bradenton, Fla., are tied for third after shooting 4-over-par 76.
The AJGA's Preseason Junior Series is designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.
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 more than 40 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 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
Final-round tee times will run from 8-10:01 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at the Golden Hills Golf & Turf Club. For more information about the AJGA Preseason Junior at Ocala hosted by Ocala-Marion Sports Commission, contact tournament headquarters at (678) 571-7994.