Future Cowboy takes lead at The PING Invitational
Hahn finishes strong for one-shot lead in Girls Division at Karsten Creek
STILLWATER, Okla. — Wyndham Clark of Greenwood Village, Colo., came to the site of his future home course and posted the only under-par round after 18 holes of competition at The PING Invitational. Jenny Hahn of Henderson, Nev., holds a one-stroke lead in the Girls Division after a birdie on her final hole put her at 2-over-par 74 going into second-round play.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The PING Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. The 72-player field features players from 21 states, Colombia, France, Thailand, China, South Korea, Sweden, Hong Kong and Mexico. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 layout at 7,388 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,291 yards.
Clark, who has verbally committed to Oklahoma State, came out strong in the first round by carding a 3-under-par 69 despite winds that clocked close to 30 mph.
“I got off to a great start with a birdie on No. 1 but then had an unfortunate bogey on the second hole,” Clark said. “I hit a great shot on No. 3 for another birdie and then just found my rhythm and hit a lot of greens.”
Turning at 3-under, Clark left a birdie putt on the lip of the 10th hole to make par. Birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 gave him a temporary six-stroke lead but bogeys on Nos. 14 and 16 set him back down the stretch, still providing a comfortable four-shot lead heading into a predicted wet second round.
Vincent Martino of Southlake, Texas, sits tied for second with North Augusta, S.C., resident and No. 9-ranked Matthew NeSmith who each shot a 1-over-par 73. Taylor Moore of Edmond, Okla., Motin Yeung of Orlando, Fla., and AJ McInerney of Henderson, Nev., all share a tie for fourth with 2-over-par 74.
Hahn, who began the summer with her first AJGA victory at the PING Phoenix Junior, is looking to end a solid year with the same result.
“It would be amazing to sweep the PING events this year,” Hahn, currently ranked No. 21 in the Polo Golf Rankings, said. “This is my first time at Karsten Creek and the last year I can play this event.”
The Vanderbilt-committed high school senior began her day with a double bogey on No. 10 but ended on a high note with a birdie on No. 9.
“I hit an awful shot on No. 10 and I thought it was going to be a long day from there,” Hahn said. “I've had a lot of moments like that where I had a bad hole and just have to brush it off and just move on, which is what I did. I just made my birdies when I had my opportunities.”
Three sit one stroke shy of Hahn, including three-time Rolex Junior All-American Kyung Kim of Chandler, Ariz., Shannon Aubert of France, and Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu. PING Junior Solheim Cup members Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., and Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., share a tie for fifth, two strokes off Hahn's pace.
Second-round tee times run 8-9:50 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Karsten Creek. For more information on The PING Invitational, please contact AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (405) 533-8181.
The tournament title partner, PING, designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of golf equipment including metal woods, irons, putters and golf bags. The family-owned company was founded in 1959 by the late Karsten Solheim. Solheim is the only person to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as a golf club manufacturer. Today, the Phoenix-based company is under the direction of Solheim's youngest son, John A. Solheim. PING game-improvement products can be found in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.ping.com.
About the American Junior Golf Association
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.