KANIA AND SU LEAD BOYS DIVISION AT LESSING'S AJGA CLASSIC
Altomare has a one-shot advantage at The Woodmere Club
WOODMERE, N.Y., - Michael Kania of Haverford, Pa., and Dong Su of Richmond, British Columbia are knotted atop the leaderboard after posting 3-under-par 67s in the first round. Brittany Altomare of Shrewsbury, Mass., leads in the Girls Division following an even-par 70.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Lessing's AJGA Classic is a 36-hole stroke play event being held at The Woodmere Club. The 98-player field features players from 22 states and 3 countries. The par-70 course is being played at 6,269 yards for the Boys Division and 5,725 yards for the Girls Division.
Kania, 16, started his round well with birdies on Nos. 3 and 4. But his surprising birdie on No. 6 from the fairway bunker is what Kania said got him going.
“At that point I'm thinking about a possible bogey, then I hit it close,” Kania said. “Tomorrow I'm going to take it one shot at a time and try to do the exact same thing.”
Kania finished second earlier this year at the Fidelity Investments Junior Classic in Boston and said he is looking for a win after his seven birdies Wednesday.
Su played well also, including an eagle on the par-4 14th hole after holing his shot from 85 yards out of the rough. Su also added birdies on Nos. 2 and 9 and had just one bogey on the day. He said he spoke to his mom a few weeks ago and wanted to win either this event or another two weeks ago.
“After finishing second two weeks ago it gave me confidence this week,” Su said. “Now I'll just do the best I can tomorrow without any pressure.”
Juan Pablo Hernandez of Mexico City is two shots back in third place after a 1-under-par 69. Minghao Wang of Reunion, Fla., heads into the final round in fourth place tied with Andrew Tursky of Hillsborough, N.J., after shooting an even-par 70s.
In the Girls Division, Altomare played steady golf throughout the first round, carding 35s on both the front and bank nine. The highlight of Altomare's round Wednesday, though, was her chip-in birdie on No. 6 from just off the green.
“I was chipping really well all day today and seemed to make all of my putts inside five feet,” Altomare said. “I'll play my own game tomorrow and see where I stand after that.
Kelly Shon of Port Washington, N.Y., is alone in second place at 1-over-par 71. Tied for third place are Annie Park of Livittown, N.Y., Marina Alex of Wayne, N.J., and Amelia Lewis of Jacksonville, Fla., carding 2-over-par 72s.
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 a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 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 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 7-11:48 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at The Woodmere Club. For more information about the Lessing's AJGA Classic, please contact tournament headquarters at (516) 295-2500.