PALACIOS SIZZLES AT THE REFUGE GOLF CLUB FIRING A 5-UNDER-PAR 67 TO TAKE THE LEAD IN BOYS DIVISION
Mai takes first-round lead in Girls Division shooting 4-under-par 68 at the Junior All-Star at Lake Havasu
LAKE HAVASU, Ariz. — Robert Palacios of Chino Hills, Calif., overcame hot temperatures to fire a 5-under-par 67 to take the lead in the Boys Division at the Junior All-Star at Lake Havasu on Wednesday. Taking the lead by three shots in the Girls Division is Brittany Mai of Poway, Calif., who shot a 4-under-par 68.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at Lake Havasu is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at The Refuge Golf Club. The tournament field features 44 boys and 22 girls, ages 12-15, from ten states, Canada and Mexico. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,835 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 5,822 yards.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 11 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. The series concludes with the Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Palacios navigated the course flawlessly carding five birdies against no bogeys. Despite his steady play he is only leading by one stroke. Palacios finished up strong on the front nine (his back) with birdies on Nos. 10, 11, 14 and 17 to fire a 4-under-par 33 coming home. He attributed his great round to his putter and driver.
“My driving and putting were the best part of my game today,” Palacios said. “I didn't miss a fairway or an up and down all day.”
Li Wang of Sammamish, Wash., and Andrew Gunn of Tucson, Ariz., are tied for second with 4-under-par 68s. Sitting tied for fourth in the Boys Division are Shotaro Ban of San Jose, Calif., and Zachary Wright of Phoenix, Ariz., with 3-under-par 69s.
In the Girls Division, after hitting two balls in the water on the front nine Mai rebounded by making an eagle on the par-5 No. 8. She made the turn at 1-under-par 36 and then proceeded to birdie four of her last six holes to card a 4-under-par 68 for the day.
“I hit a lot of greens in regulation,” Mai said. “My iron shots were crisp and accurate today which helped me stick a lot of shots close.”
In the Girls Division Taylor Kim of Surrey, Canada, sits in second place at 1-under-par 71. Alexandra Kaui of Henderson, Nev., rounds out the top three after firing an even-par 72
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 a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
Second-round tee times for the Junior All-Star at Lake Havasu will run from 6:30 — 8:09 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at The Refuge Golf Club Thursday. For more information please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 485-1135.
GARY GILCHRIST GOLF ACADEMY, a full-time junior golf training and development program, enters its first year as an Official Partner of the AJGA. The partnership features an endowment of an AJGA Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which provides juniors access to national competitive golf opportunities.