Tonkham shoots career low at Las Vegas Junior Open
Kaui leads first round by finishing strong at Anthem Country Club
HENDERSON, Nev. — Troix Tonkham of Arleta, Calif., carded an eagle and four birdies en route to a 3-under-par 69 to take the lead in the Boys Division at the Las Vegas Junior Open. In the Girls Division, Alexandra Kaui of Las Vegas, pulled ahead with a first round 2-under-par 70, carding three birdies.
The Las Vegas Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Anthem Country Club in Henderson, Nev. The field features 54 boys and 24 girls from eight states and nine countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,246 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 6,173 yards.
Tonkham leads by two strokes in his second AJGA event of the year. He tied his career low of 69, which he has shot three times, and he owes it to going eagle-birdie-birdie on Nos. 3-5.
“I really fired it up on my final nine holes. My twelfth hole was hole No. 3 where I had a 115-yard shot that spun back into the hole for eagle,” Tonkham said. “Then I birdied No. 4 by making an 18-foot putt and birdied No. 5. I was able to seal out my round with a birdie on No. 8 to shoot 69.”
Josh Fisher of Las Vegas, Taylor Montgomery, Kenden Slattery, and AJ McInerney of Henderson, Nev., share a four-way-tie for second at 1-under-par-71.
In the Girls Division, Kaui leads after the first round for the first time in her career and is coming off a strong finish at this year's Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club. Kaui said her hard work at that event paid off and prepared her for this tournament.
“It feels great to be leading an AJGA event,” Kaui said. “I feel like I've passed a barrier by leading in the first round.”
Kaui said her putt on No. 17 was the turning point in her round.
Anne Freman of Las Vegas, Jenny Hahn of Henderson, Nev., and Dana Finkelstein of Chandler, Ariz., share a three-way tie for second at 2-over-par 74.
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, 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.
Second-round tee times for the Las Vegas Junior Open will run from 7:30-9:30 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Wednesday at Anthem Country Club. For more information about the Las Vegas Junior Open, contact tournament headquarters at (678) 327-6982 or visit the website at ajga.org.