SPIETH, BACK CARD ROUNDS OF 68 TO LEAD HP BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP AT CARLTON WOODS
Fourteen players under par after first round at The Club at Carlton Woods
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Jordan Spieth of Dallas, and James Back of Cerritos, Calif., fired rounds of 4-under-par 68 to grab a one-shot lead after the first round at the HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods. A total of 14 players carded sub-par rounds and are within three shots of the lead heading into Sunday's second round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods is a 54-hole stroke play event being played on the par-72, 7,358-yard Fazio Championship Course at The Club at Carlton Woods. The 78-player field features 16 players from Texas and 23 Rolex Junior All-Americans. In all, 23 states and six foreign countries are represented.
In his first tournament since the Polo Golf Junior Classic last November, Spieth, 15, started 2009 with a bogey on his opening hole. He turned at even-par 36 before reeling off birdies at Nos. 11, 12, 15 and 17.
“I didn't get off to a great start, but I knew that if I stayed consistent the course would give me a couple shots,” said Spieth, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the Polo Golf Rankings.
Spieth won two events last season, the AJGA Championship at Traditions and The PING Invitational, en route to first-team Rolex Junior All-America honors. In all, Spieth has 11 career AJGA top-10 finishes.
“My goal is to be Rolex Junior Player of the Year this year, so I hope that this tournament can jump start the rest of my season,” Spieth said.
Like Spieth, Back did the majority of his damage on the back nine. Birdies on Nos. 12, 14, 15, and 16 keyed a back-nine 33 and his round of 68.
“I struggled a bit on the front nine and I just needed to calm myself,” Back said. “I made a 10-footer on No. 12 for birdie and that calmed me, and I was able to start to play my game.”
Ranked No. 16 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Back was a second-team Rolex Junior All-American in 2008 and has nine career AJGA top-10 finishes, including a win at last year's PING Phoenix Junior.
“I didn't worry too much about my score today because I've been here a lot and played in a lot of big tournaments, so I feel good,” Back said.
Andrew Yun of Chandler, Ariz., is alone in third, one shot back at 3-under-par 69. Five players are tied for fourth after shooting rounds of 2-under-par 70: Daniel Walker of Earlysville, Pa., Patrick Winther of Howey in the Hills, Fla., Johnathan Schnitzer of Houston, Anthony Paolucci of Dallas, and Richard Werenski of South Hadley, Mass.
Second-round tee times for the HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods will run from 8-9:48 a.m., off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at The Club at Carlton Woods — Fazio Championship Course. For more information, please contact AJGA headquarters at (281) 863-5731.