HONEYCUTT HOLES FIVE STRAIGHT BIRDIES EN ROUTE TO OPENING-ROUND 6-UNDER-PAR 66
Drolson fires 2-under-par 70 to seize lead in Girls Division at Westin Mission Hills Resort's Gary Player Signature Course
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Tim Honeycutt of Placerville, Calif., carded a 6-under-par 66 to seize a healthy three-shot advantage after the opening round of the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rancho Mirage Saturday. In the Girls Division, Kaitlin Drolson of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., posted a 2-under-par 70 to grab a two-stroke edge heading to the final round at the Westin Mission Hills Resort's Gary Player Signature Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rancho Mirage is a 36-hole stroke play event held at the Westin Mission Hills Resort's Gary Player Signature Course. The 84-player field features players from eight different states. The Girls Division is playing the Gary Player Signature Course at 5,842 yards, while the Boys Division is playing it at 6,904 yards.
Honeycutt, who began play on the back nine, drained five consecutive birdies in the middle of his round on Nos. 17, 18, 1, 2 and 3 to gain some crucial momentum.
“I had tap-in birdies at Nos. 17, 18 and 1, so that was definitely some big momentum and I ended up making five in a row at one point,” Honeycutt said. “I was pretty consistent all day and I played pretty well; I started off slow, but then I finished 7-under on my last 13 holes.”
“It's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it,” he added about having the lead heading to the final day. “It's a new experience and I just think this has been a great tournament to be a part of that has been run very well.”
In the Boys Division, Trent Kaahanui of Tempe, Ariz. is in second place following a 3-under-par 69. Bobby Barajas of Santa Maria, Calif., Martin Salgado of San Luis, Ariz., Fletcher Sams of La Canada, Calif., Benny Santa Maria of Orange, Calif., and Justin Yu of Montrose, Calif., are all deadlocked in the third spot after 2-under-par 70s.
In the Girls Division, Drolson opened her day with back-to-back bogeys, but responded with a key birdie on No. 3 and finished her round by hitting an impressive 14 fairways and 14 greens. “It was a rough start, but I made a good 15-footer on No. 3 that gave me a little momentum,” Drolson said. “I was just hitting it straight all day and I played smart and made a few putts.”
“The conditions will be tougher because the greens will dry out some and the hole locations will probably be in some rough spots,” she continued. “The greens are super firm, so it will definitely be a chipping and putting contest tomorrow.”
Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., holds the second position after an even-par 72, while Julie Shutler of Manteca, Calif., and Brittany Mai of Poway, Calif., are tied for third place following 1-over-par 73s.
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 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
Medicus Golf and The Medicus Golf Institute are dedicated to enabling all golfers to “Live Their Vision” in reaching their potential. By expanding its corporate vision, mission, products and services, Medicus Golf will enable golfers to learn and grow — both as a person and as a player — in a series of new and exciting developmental formats.
Medicus Golf enters its second year of sponsorship of the AJGA by supporting the Medicus Preseason Series. The Medicus Learning System, a comprehensive series of golf training aids, is dedicated to assisting golfers of all ages.
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. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Final round tee times will run from 7:00 — 8:57 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Sunday at the Gary Player Signature Course.
For more information on the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rancho Mirage, please contact tournament headquarters at (760) 770-2908.