SHINDLER LEADS BY TWO AT SMITHFIELD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Vandermade shoots under par to top Girls Division
BLAIRSVILLE, Pa., - After one round of play at the Smithfield Junior Championship, Conrad Shindler of Coppell, Texas, leads the Boys Division by two strokes. In the Girls Division, Nicole Vandermade of Brantford, Ontario, holds a 2-shot lead after carding a first-round score of 71.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Smithfield Junior Championship is being held at the Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort and Conference Center — Tom's Run. The tournament is a 54-hole stroke-play event that hosts a 120-player field. The playing field, which consists of 93 boys and 27 girls, age 12 — 18, represents Canada and 18 states.
Shindler came out firing, making three birdies in his first four holes. Shindler's round included eight birdies in all and only two bogeys helping him card a 6-under-par 66.
“I just got hot,” Shindler said. “I played solid and tried to go one shot at a time.”
Shindler, who is the highest-returning finisher from the Boys Division in 2005, said he feels more at home with the course.
“After playing here last year, things just come more natural,” Shindler said. “It gives me more confidence.”
Following Shindler in second place, Sean Brannan of Hollidaysburg, Pa., shot a 4-under-par 68 that included six birdies. Tied for third place are Michael Imperato of Westlake Village, Calif., Nathan Sutherland of Wyomissing, Pa., Antonio Grillo of Vineyard Haven, Mass., and Adam Hofmann of Pittsburgh, at 3-under-par 69.
In the Girls Division Vandermade recorded three birdies to score 1-under-par 71. Vandermade entered the tournament field after carding a 66 in the Srixon Qualifier on Sunday.
“I pretty much just played solid,” said Vandermade. “I just want to come out, have a good time, continue to play well and see what happens.”
Two shots behind Vandermade, in second place is Stephanie Kim of Bayside, N.Y., who carded a 1-over-par 73. Tied for third place are Kristina Nhim of Buena Park, Calif., Kaira Martin of Paradise Valley, Ariz., Margaret Pentrack of Pittsburgh, and Laura Nochta of Cortland, Ohio, at 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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual 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, which is in its third decade of support, 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
Second-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday at Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort & Conference Center. For more information on the Smithfield Junior Championship, please contact tournament headquarters at (724) 459-7919.