DEFOREST, UIHLEIN CAPTURE FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT CANOE BROOK
Oh leads Girls Division with 2-under-par 70
SUMMIT, N.J. â€” Christopher DeForest of Cottikill, N.Y., and Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla., carded first-round scores of 2-under-par 70 to tie for the lead heading into the second round of The Lincoln Mercury Junior at Canoe Brook. Angela Oh of Maple Shade, N.J., was 1-under-par on the front and back nines to lead the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The Lincoln Mercury Junior at Canoe Brook is being held at the Canoe Brook Country Club â€” North Course. Eighty-five junior golfers from 13 states, Ontario and China, including 22 from New Jersey, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.
DeForest started the first round with a bogey on No. 10, but birdied three holes and finished with eight consecutive pars. He said making pars on holes was easier today because he was hitting the ball straighter off the tee.
â€śI hit the ball pretty well,â€ť he said. â€śThe course is in great shape â€” it was easy to score. The biggest thing here is to just hit it straight.â€ť
Uihlein scored a 35-35â€”70 in the first round thanks to five birdies on Nos. 5, 9, 13, 15 and 18. On No. 18, he hit a 310-yard drive to leave him a 290-yard approach.
â€śI killed a drive and hit an OK 5-wood,â€ť he said. â€śThen I chipped to about five feet and birdied.â€ť
Uihlein, despite the long drive on No. 18, said the highlight of his round was getting up and down on No. 13 by making a 20-foot birdie putt. Despite five birdies, he said his round was not as consistent as his score reflected.
â€śI didn't start off too well. It easily could have been a 79,â€ť he said. â€śYou've got to do that on this course â€” you have to scramble. It's a tough course.â€ť
Trailing DeForest and Uihlein after the first round is Conor O'Brien of Weatogue, Conn., with a 1-under-par 71. Tied for fourth with 1-over-par 73s are: Andy Choi of Orlando, Fla.; Eric Onesi of Bear, Del.; Samuel Kim of Cerritos, Calif.; Conrad Von Borsig of Swarthmore, Pa.; Brian Belden of Emmaus, Pa.; Bennett Boyer of Millersburg, Pa.; Morgan Hoffmann of Wyckoff, N.J.; Samuel Chavez of Hillsborough, Calif.; and Brad Larente of Cambridge, Ontario.
In the Girls Divison, Oh was the only player to shoot under par. She recently changed her driver and irons and said it made a difference in the way she played the course. She said the course seems longer than most of her other AJGA tournaments.
â€śUsually with AJGA yardages, I use mid-irons, but here I used a lot of long irons and fairway woods, so it was a challenge,â€ť she said.
Oh had four birdies on Nos. 4, 7, 11 and 16.
â€śI just played solid golf,â€ť she said. â€śAnd I stuck it near the pin on those holes.â€ť
Michelle Grilli of Lutherville, Md., shot a 36-36â€”72 and stands in second after the first round. In third after 18 holes is Kaitlin Conway of Wading River, N.Y., 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 and Cristie Kerr.
Tee times for the second round of The Lincoln Mercury Junior at Canoe Brook will begin Wednesday, at 7 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information on The Lincoln Mercury Junior at Canoe Brook, call tournament headquarters at (908) 522-8383 and ask for the AJGA.