THREE-WAY TIE LEAVES BOYS DIVISION UP FOR GRABS IN STOCKTON
Park, Shin break par to lead Girls Division at The Reserve at Spanos Park
STOCKTON, Calif. — Spencer Biersdorff of Nevada City, Calif., Alberto Sanchez of Nogales, Ariz., and Manav Shah of Bakersfield, Calif., each recorded a 3-under-par 69 Tuesday to claim their share of the lead in the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic. In the Girls Division, Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., and Jenny Shin of Torrance, Calif., share the lead going into the second round, each having carded a 1-under-par 71.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic is a 54-hole stroke-play competition held at The Reserve at Spanos Park. The tournament field consists of 72 boys and 27 girls from 14 states, Canada and Taiwan. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,082 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 6,314 yards.
Sanchez, 14, had never laid eyes on the course until he stepped up to the No. 1 tee Tuesday morning. His lack of practice didn't hurt him, as he recorded three birdies and an eagle on the day.
“It was tiring but fun today,” Sanchez said. “This course is demanding; it's a real test of my golf skills.”
Shah, who is in his first year of AJGA play, recorded three birdies on the front nine for a three-under-par 33, then traded bogey for birdie three times on the back for an even-par 36.
“There are a couple of tricky holes and this course really depends on the wind,” Shah said. “Tomorrow I don't want to think about my score, I just want to play my game and hope to do as well as I did today.”
Biersdorff, who is playing in his first AJGA event, carded five birdies to two bogeys on the day.
“Tomorrow, I won't be too aggressive,” the 17-year-old said. “I like the green speed and I'm driving the ball well, so I'm just trying to not get ahead of myself.”
Following the leaders in fourth is Dashiell Lindsell of Burlingame, Calif., who shot a 2-under-par 70. Rounding out the top five is Jack Pennington of Eugene, Ore., with a 1-under-par 71.
In the Girls Division, Park, who won her first AJGA event at the PING Phoenix Junior two weeks ago, continued her strong play with five birdies on the day.
“I'm a lot more comfortable on the course now,” Park said. “I felt like I should have shot better, but I'm still gaining confidence with every shot.”
Shin began the day with her eyes on post-season honors. A top finish at the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic along with a top-five finish at the PING Invitational would help Shin accomplish her goal of first-team Rolex All-American. Though she has her sights set on a hefty prize, she is able to push those thoughts away and focus on the task at hand.
“While I'm out there, I don't think about the post-season or the goals I have,” the 15-year-old said. “I'm just trying to make pars without taking risks and do my best every shot.”
Nipping at the heels of the leaders and sitting one stroke behind with a score of even-par 72 is Nicole Zhang of Calgary, Alberta.
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 Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic will be held Wednesday, August 27, with tee times running off the No. 1 tee from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. at The Reserve at Spanos Park. For more information regarding the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic, please contact Tournament Director Jeremy Freyman at (678) 617-9917.