WILKIE TAKES EARLY LEAD IN BOYS DIVISION AT FIDELITY INVESTMENTS STARS OF TEXAS JUNIOR
Johnson fires 2-under-par 69 to lead Girls Division by five strokes at The University of Texas Golf Club
AUSTIN, Texas — Payne Wilkie of Austin, Texas, carded a 2-under-par 69 to lead the Boys Division of the Fidelity Investments Stars of Texas Junior on a breezy Wednesday at The University of Texas Golf Club. Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., took a commanding five-stroke lead in the Girls Division after posting a 2-under-par 69.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Fidelity Investments Stars of Texas Junior is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at The University of Texas Golf Club. The tournament field consists of 120 players, 90 boys and 30 girls, from 12 states and Mexico. The Boys Division is playing the course at 7,170 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 6,113 yards.
Wilkie played solidly throughout the day and was extremely strong with his iron play, hitting 15 greens in regulation. He got his putter going on the back nine with several good lags and dropping two 20-foot birdie putts on Nos. 11 and 16. Wilkie knew that he had to stay calm in the windy conditions and stay focused on each shot. Wilkie feels comfortable heading into the final two rounds and just wants to continue to play his game.
“I birdied the first hole and that set the tone for the round,” Wilkie said. “I knew I just had to be patient. This is a tough course and you just have to accept the bogeys, move on, and drop a few putts when they come your way.”
Mitch Cahill of Houston sits in second after posting a 1-under-par 70. Texas natives Matthew Henson of Austin, Mitchell Griffin of Driftwood, and Thomas Birdsey of The Woodlands, are tied for third, two strokes back with even-par 71s.
In the Girls Division, Johnson played consistent golf throughout her round, tallying four birdies, including both par-5s on the back nine. She has a five-stroke cushion on the rest of the field, and isn't looking to change anything about her game. Johnson said she felt comfortable with her play, especially her putting, where she was able to make a couple of 20-footers for birdie. Johnson knows you can't be too aggressive on these greens and is looking forward to the next two rounds.
“I played really smart today,” Johnson said. “I was just trying to pick targets on the golf course and hit those spots. I was able to hit a lot of greens and a lot of fairways and that really helped.”
Sarah Beth Davis of Victoria, Texas, and Kalynd Carson of The Woodlands, Texas, are tied for second after posting 3-over-par 74s.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 countries.
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.
Second-round tee times will begin at 7:15 a.m. Thursday off the No. 1 tee at The University of Texas Golf Club. For more information about the Fidelity Investments Stars of Texas Junior, please contact tournament headquarters at (512) 266-0053 or visit ajga.org.