MCCULLUM LEADS BY ONE AFTER FIRST ROUND OF JUNIOR ALL-STAR AT PENN STATE
Wagner and Murray lead Girls Division at Penn State Golf Course
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Taylor McCullum of Hoover, Ala., sits atop the Boys Division at 3-under-par 69 after the first round. After posting even-par 72s, Samantha Wagner of Easton, Pa., and Lindsey Murray of Tipp City, Ohio, took a share of the lead in the Girls Division at the Junior All-Star at Penn State.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at Penn State is a 54-hole stroke-play event with a 36-hole cut being held at Penn State Golf Course — Blue Course. The field is made up of 104 boys and 30 girls, ages 12-15, from 24 states, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,589 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,963 yards.
McCullum leads the Boys Division by one stroke after a steady round. The 14-year-old hit 13 greens in regulation accompanied by only 27 putts.
“I've been working on my putting a lot recently,” McCullum said. “I'm going to work on my ball striking so I can hit more fairways and greens and take some pressure off my putting. I feel good but I need to keep playing well since it will only get harder further in the week.”
Playing in McCullum's pairing for the first and second round is Matthew Ross of Hartland, Wis., who is tied in second at 2-under-par 70 with Ryan Cole of Mount Airy, Md., and Eric Edwards of Salisbury, N.C. In a tie for fifth are Frank Szucs of Brookside, N.J., and Chris Houston of Gilford, N.H., both at 1-under-par 71.
Wagner compiled four straight birdies that started on No. 12 and only had 28 putts on the day.
“I had a lot of one-putts on the back nine and hit some really close approach shots,” Wagner said. “I made that one birdie on No. 12 and I just kept going but I would like to work on my longer irons and drives for tomorrow.”
Murray struggled on the range this morning but was able to keep her composure throughout Tuesday's first round.
“I played a lot better than I was doing on the range,” Murray said. “My putting was very good and I hit most fairways which made my approach shots easier. I don't want to change too much so hopefully I can repeat this tomorrow.”
Currently tied for third in the Girls Division are Brogan McKinnon of Mississauga, Ontario, and Jennifer Peng of San Diego, who both had rounds of 3-over-par 75.
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 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.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of nine 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. Juniors are limited to a maximum combination of five AJGA Open and Junior All-Star Series events during a calendar year. The series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
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 Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which will provide juniors access to national competitive golf opportunities.
Second-round tee times for the Junior All-Star at Penn State will run 7 — 8:39 a.m. (first wave) and 11:30 a.m. — 1:09 p.m. (second wave) off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Penn State Golf Course — Blue Course. For more information contact Tournament Headquarters at (814)-865-4653.
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