PARK TAKES EARLY LEAD AT AJGA JUNIOR AT STEELWOOD PRESENTED BY AT&T
Feng leads Girls Division by two strokes at Steelwood Country Club
LOXLEY, Ala. — Brandon Park of Weston, Fla., carded a 2-under-par 70 to lead the Boys Division by two strokes after Tuesday's opening round of play at the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T at Steelwood Country Club. In the Girls Division, Simin Feng of Orlando, Fla., shot an even-par 72 to lead the field.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T features 78 players from 13 states and Canada. The field consists of 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 Steelwood Country Club Course at 7,001 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,043 yards.
Park, 17, registered six birdies and only four bogeys in his round and credited his solid play to consistency with his tee shots. Park said that keeping the ball in the fairway was a key thought for the day. He even chose to put his driver away in favor of longer irons to place the ball off the tee.
“Tee to green I was pretty solid all day,” Park said. “After that, it was all a matter of making putts.” There's a lot of trees out here, so putting the ball in the fairway was key to scoring.”
Ross Menard of Maurice, La., sits in second place after shooting an even-par 72. Alan Boutwell of Birmingham, Ala., is currently in third place after carding 1-over-par 73. Kevin Jorden of Juno Beach, Fla., Alabama-local Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Cyril Suk of Bradenton, Fla., and Yinchi Liu also from Bradenton are tied for fourth after posting rounds of 2-over-par 74.
In the Girls Division, Feng, 13, notched four birdies and four bogeys en route to her even-par round. Feng said that her putting was a large contributor to her consistent round despite not being able to get in as much practice as she would have liked.
“I've been studying the whole time for my exams this week, so I didn't get to work on my game that much,” Feng said. “I made a 30-foot putt for birdie on No. 14, so that showed me that the work that I did do paid off.”
Emily Collins of Colleyville, Texas shot a 2-over-par 74 and is just two strokes off the lead. Fellow Texan Amy Ruengmateekhun, of Garland, and Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., sit just three strokes back after carding 3-over-par 75s in the opening round.
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 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 second round of the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T is Wednesday, June 4 with tee times running off the first and tenth tees from 8:30 a.m. to 10:18 a.m. at Steelwood Country Club. For more information about the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 617-3050.