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The Kansas City Country Club
Mission Hills, Kan. • August 1 - 4


Chawalitmetha in control of Girls Division


Mission Hills, Kan. – Brent Whitehead of Marietta, Ga., and Joel Winters of Hampton, Iowa, fired 1-under-par 69s to share the Boys Division lead after the first round of the Lockton Kansas City Junior on Tuesday.  In the Girls Division, Patty Chawalitmetha of Bellflower, Calif., carded a 3-over-par 73 to stand atop the leaderboard.

        Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Lockton Kansas City Junior is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at the Kansas City Country Club. The tournament features 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 19 states.

Whitehead’s 69 featured a 34 on the front nine and a 35 on the back side.  The 15-year-old was pleased with his consistent round of three birdies, two bogeys and 13 pars.

“I struck the ball better than I had in a while,” Whitehead said.  “I had a couple of wild tee shots, but overall I felt I had a really solid round.”

Whitehead felt the key to his steady round was his iron play and approach shots.  He carded back-to-back birdies on the par-5 Nos. 7 and 8, which gave him momentum heading to the back side.  Whitehead went on to record a par on every hole of the back nine. 

Winters said he felt very comfortable during his round, which also featured a 34 on the front nine and a 35 on the back side. The 17-year-old carded four birdies, three bogeys and 11 pars.

“I felt like I was hitting it well and putting it in the right places,” Winters said.  “I felt like I played solid throughout.”

Winters contributed his steady round to his putting performance, which consisted of only 28 putts on the day.  Winters finished strong with birdies on hole Nos. 15 and 17, a run that included hitting his approach shot to within two feet of the flagstick on the par-4 15th. 

Five players are tied for third place in the Boys Division.  Tyson McFarland of Rexburg, Idaho; Jace Long of Dixon, Mo.; Jordan Cook of Edmond, Okla.; Ryan Williams of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Dalton Owens of Mt. Vernon, Mo., each shot 1-over-par rounds of 71.

Chawalitmetha’s 73 consisted of a 35 on the front nine and a 38 on the back side with three birdies.  Despite her first-place position, Chawalitmetha was disappointed with her performance on the course.

“I felt I could have played better,” Chawalitmetha said.  “I had some bad holes out there.  But at least I was able to recover and still finish okay.”

The 16-year-old never felt she got her whole game working together during her round.  However, Chawalitmetha did feel that her iron play was strong and proved it by making birdie on three of the five par-3 holes.  One of those birdies came on the second hole, and Chawalitmetha said starting the day with that birdie gave her confidence for the rest of the round. 

Four players are tied for second place in the Girls Division.  Shannon Fish of Spring, Texas; Becca Huffer of Denver, Colo.; Emily Mason of Highland, Calif.; and Hannah Yun of Bradenton, Fla., all shot 4-over-par rounds of 74.

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 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

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 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.  

Second-round pairings will begin at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee on Wednesday.  For more information about the Lockton Kansas City Junior, contact tournament headquarters at (913) 236-2183 and ask for the AJGA.