LACH FINISHES AT 5-UNDER-PAR TO LEAD AFTER FIRST ROUND
Ellenbogen ahead by one stroke in Girls Division of the Lessing's AJGA Classic
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — A “perfect” drive for Bryant Lach of The Woodlands, Texas, on No. 12 was soon followed by a 25-foot putt for eagle as the rising senior posted a 67 to lead the Boys Division of the Lessing's AJGA Classic. Courtney Ellenbogen of Blacksburg, Va., drained long putts on Nos. 2 and 4 to finish at 1-under-par 71 in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Lessing's AJGA Classic is being held at the Eisenhower Park Golf Course — White Course. Eighty-four junior golfers from 13 states, including 24 from New York, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.
Lach said he wanted to start the tournament playing aggressive. He only hit four fairways during the round, but finished with four birdies and one bogey in addition to the eagle on No. 12.
“My driving was not that great,” he said. “But my putting was solid enough to make a bunch of birdies. I want to stay aggressive tomorrow and not really let off of the accelerator.”
In a three-way tie for second place at 3-under-par 69 are Paul Park of Wayne, N.J., Brandon Detweiler of Akron, Pa., and Mark Costanza of Upper Saddle River, N.J. Scoring 2-under-par 70s and tied for fifth place are Eric Lodge of Houston, Conor Malloy of Rye, N.Y., Warren West of Chestertown, Md., David Lipsky of La Canada, Calif., Sam DaSilva of Wyckoff, N.J., and Jason Cohan of Wayne, Pa.
In the Girls Division, Ellenbogen said she ended the round happy with her performance, but did not think her score would be the low. Instead of joining other players at the scoreboard after she finished, Ellenbogen walked to the No. 9 green to watch a friend.
“I really didn't know what everyone else shot,” she said. “I thought I played solid. I was able to get into a groove early and stick with it.”
Ellenbogen finished the round with four birdies and three bogeys. She said strong putting and being able to hit out of the rough were key to playing the course well.
Nipping at her heels in second place is Megan Grehan of Mamaroneck, N.Y., with a par 72. In third place is Marlowe Boukis of Lutherville, Md., with a 1-over-par 73.
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, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12 - 18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
Second-round tee times begin Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees of the White Course at Eisenhower Park. Boys will start first on both tees. On No. 10, the girls will start from 8:51 — 9:27 a.m.
For more information about the Lessing's AJGA Classic, call tournament headquarters at (678) 227-9191.