MCCORMICK TAKES EARLY LEAD WITH 2-UNDER-PAR 69
Kwon holds one shot lead after first round at The Country Club of Mendon
MENDON, N.Y. — Ryan McCormick of Middletown, N.J., shot a 2-under-par 69 to claim the first round lead at the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA and Xerox Classic Saturday. In the Girls Division, Alyssa Kwon of Richmond Hill, Ontario, carded an opening round of 3-over-par 76 to top the leaderboard.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA and Xerox Classic is a 36-hole stroke play event held at The Country Club of Mendon. The tournament field consists of 84 boys and 16 girls, ages 12 to 18, from 17 states, Mexico and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the course as par-71 at 6,623 yards, while the Girls Division layout is being played as par-73 at 6,081 yards.
The 16-year-old McCormick strung together seven consecutive pars to begin his day before breaking through with a birdie on the eighth hole. After finding trouble off the next tee, McCormick scrambled for another birdie to make the turn at 2-under-par 33.
“On No. 9, I hit it right and left myself behind a tree,” McCormick said. “One of my favorite shots to play is a cut, so I cut it out around the tree, it rolled up to five feet and I made the putt for birdie.”
McCormick carded his third consecutive birdie on No. 10 and played the back nine at even-par 36 to finish the day as the lone player in red figures.
“After the practice round, I knew I wanted to keep the ball in play, give myself some chances and minimize mistakes,” McCormick said. “It feels great to have the lead, but I still have another 18 holes. The next round is no different than this one.”
Brad Altenhoff of Burlington, Ontario, finished the day in second, four strokes behind after opening with a 2-over-par 73. Rounding out the top of the Boys Division are Jay Fabbro of Kingston, Ontario, John Herrera of Houston, and Kyle Johnson of Endicott, N.Y., in third after rounds of 3-over-par 74.
Kwon experienced a rough start to her day, bogeying three of her first four holes. Playing in the first AJGA event of her career, the 17-year-old adjusted her game plan and rebounded with a birdie on No. 9 to make the turn with a 2-over-par 38.
“After I started with three bogeys on my first four holes, I just told myself that I was stronger than that,” Kwon said. “Instead of playing for birdies, I played a little safer. I just tried to hit fairways and greens and make pars. The birdie on No.9 gave me a lot of confidence and I felt good heading into the back nine.”
Kwon hit every fairway over her final nine holes, recording a birdie and two bogeys to finish with a total of 1-over-par 38 on the back and a one-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round.
Amanda Steinhagen of Oak Hill, Va., sits in second after opening with a 4-over-par 77. Regina Alonso of Huixquilucan, Mexico, Yueer Cindy Feng of Orlando, Fla., and Juliet Vongphoumy of Providence, R.I., are tied for third with 5-over-par 78s.
The Medicus Preseason Series is designed for new AJGA members who have yet to play in an AJGA event. The series provides an opportunity for members to gain status with Performance Based Entry, which in turn will increase their ability to play in future AJGA events.
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 third 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.
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 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.
The final round of the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA and Xerox Classic will be an 8:30 a.m. shotgun at The Country Club of Mendon. For more information, please contact AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (585) 624-3770 ext. 226 or visit the AJGA Web site, ajga.org.