WIND BLOWS IN THREE-WAY TIE IN BOYS DIVISION AT ANTHEM COUNTRY CLUB
Weaver comes back to defend her title in the Girls Division at the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker
HENDERSON, Nev. — Heavy winds played a significant role in the first round of the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker Tuesday. Daniel Chian of Covina, Calif., Payne Denman of Riverwatch, Tenn., and Joseph Stewart of Palm Desert, Calif., tied for first, after each shot a 1-over-par 73. Defending champion, Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., took the lead in the Girls Division by shooting 3-over-par 75, finishing one stroke ahead of her competition.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Anthem Country Club. The tournament field features 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18 from 11 states, Mexico and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,360 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,331 yards.
Chian played an impressive round despite the wind. He birdied Nos. 3, 8, 14, 15 and 18, giving him more birdies than any other boy playing in the event.
“I just tried to ignore the wind and play my game,” Chian said. “The rough is pretty rough on this course and accuracy is key.”
Denman had a slow start, finishing his front nine at 2-over-par 38, but he managed to eagle No. 18.
“It felt good,” Denman said, “I finally made a putt. I had lipped three or four putts for birdie and it felt great to finally get it right.”
Stewart played a strong front nine, which kept him in contention for the lead. He birdied Nos. 1, 5 and 8, which he believes was a result of a solid short game.
“I hit most of the greens and was able to make a lot of birdies,” Stewart said.
AJ McInerney of Henderson, Nev., Jay Lim of La Canada, Calif., and Kyle Westmoreland of Katy, Texas, all tied for fourth each shooting 2-over-par 74.
In the Girls Division, Weaver started her round off slow. She was 4-over-par after No. 5, but managed to make birdie on Nos. 6 and 8 to bring her back down to 2-over-par 38 for the front nine, which she attributes to her strong driving.
“I was able to hit every fairway,” Weaver said. “I also hit a few putts, which really helped my game.”
Following closely behind Weaver is Tessa The of Los Altos, Calif., who finished the round with a 4-over-par 76. Rounding out the top-three in the Girls Division was Sunshine Baraquiel of Chatsworth, Calif., who shot a 5-over-par 77.
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 AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 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.
Second-round tee times for the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker will run from 7:30- 9:18 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Wednesday at the Anthem Country Club. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 315-3446.