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 â€” 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.
â€śI didn't get off to a great start, but I knew that if I stayed consistent the course would give me a couple shots,â€ť 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.
â€śMy 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,â€ť 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.
â€śI struggled a bit on the front nine and I just needed to calm myself,â€ť Back said. â€śI made a 10-footer on No. 12 for birdie and that calmed me, and I was able to start to play my game.â€ť
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.
â€śI 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,â€ť 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 â€” Fazio Championship Course. For more information, please contact AJGA headquarters at (281) 863-5731.