Dengler Races Out to Three-Stroke Lead at Preseason Junior at Basking Ridge
LaRue takes claim of Girls Division lead after 4-over-par 75 performance
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Jimmy Dengler of Rumson, N.J., shot a 1-under-par 70 to claim the lead in the Boys Division at Basking Ridge Country Club. In the Girls Division, Brooke LaRue of Topeka, Kan., fired a 4-over-par 75, leading the rest of the field by three shots heading into the final round of action.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Basking Ridge is a 36-hole stroke play competition held on the par-71 Basking Ridge Country Club Course. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,568 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 5,625 yards. The 96-player field features players from 13 states and Canada, Norway, Russia and South Korea.
Excited to be playing in an AJGA event close to home, Dengler took full advantage of his familiarity with the course. Utilizing his short game, Dengler was able to tally five birdies on the day.
“I've played here at Basking Ridge Country Club twice before,” Dengler said. “It felt good to be playing in New Jersey and the conditions were perfect. I was hitting the ball nicely today. I hit a couple of shots that were 15 feet from the hole or closer—nothing extremely close, but I was able to knock in those putts and it gave me a lot of confidence throughout my round.”
Heading into the final round of action, Dengler is hoping to incorporate an aggressive game plan that will help keep his scores low.
“I think I can be a bit more aggressive out there,” Dengler said. “I hit a lot of greens today, which is something I didn't do during the practice round. If I stay aggressive, I think I can get my approach shots a bit closer to the hole and take some of the pressure off my putting tomorrow.”
Sitting in second place after one round of play is Kyle Martin of Ambler, Pa., with a 2-over-par 73. In third place is Ryan Wessel of Mahopac, N.Y., after carding a 3-over-par 74. Rounding out the Boys Division in a tie for fourth place is Sean Lee of Basking Ridge, N.J., and Thomas Henderson of Sterling, Mass., with scores of 4-over-par 75.
After a bout of mononucleosis interrupted her golf last summer, LaRue came into the Preseason Junior at Basking Ridge looking solely to get back into the game she missed.
“My goals for this tournament were just to stay calm and focused out on the course which I think I did,” LaRue said. “I wasn't necessarily concerned with who was shooting what.”
After a double bogey on No. 2 followed by a bogey on No. 3, LaRue kept her head high and rebounded with five birdies on the day. She credited her first birdie on the day for the switch in momentum.
“I was able to chip in on No. 6 for birdie,” LaRue said. “That really helped my game out and I started rolling from there. I just need to play with that level of confidence tomorrow. I'm not concerned with playing more aggressive or switching up clubs, only playing with a positive mindset.”
Sitting three shots behind LaRue with a 7-over-par 78 is Jackie Rogowicz of Yardley, Pa. Rounding out the Girls Division is Catherine McEvoy of Riverside, Conn., with a score of 11-over-par 82.
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 for the Preseason Junior at Basking Ridge will run from 7:30 — 9:20 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Basking Ridge Country Club. For more information about the Preseason Junior at Basking Ridge, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 294-6051.