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Wethersfield Country Club
Wethersfield, Conn. • August 8 - 11

Lendl finishes first round three strokes ahead in Girls Division

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. —  David Lipsky of La Canada, Calif., carded a 6-under-par 65 in the first round of the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers to put him on top of the leader board. Isabelle Lendl of Bradenton, Fla., shot a 1-over-par 72 to lead the Girls Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers is being held at Wethersfield Country Club. Ninety-nine junior golfers from 14 states, including 28 from Connecticut are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.

Lipsky said he did not play well in the practice round Monday, but, in the first round of the tournament, he shot 1-under-par on the front nine and managed a 5-under-par back nine due, in part, to hitting 16 greens in regulation. He said the only greens he missed were the par-3 Nos. 3 and 5 on the front nine — his only two bogeys on the round.

“I came out here with some confidence and did pretty well,” he said. “I was 1-under-par on the front nine and was happy with that. But on the back nine, something just clicked. I built up a lot of momentum really quick.”

Lipsky eagled the par-5 No. 14, but said the highlight of his round was his first birdie on the back nine, No. 12, which he sunk a 20-foot putt to secure.

“I tried to play really conservatively — let the birdies come to me,” he said. “There's no point in forcing them.”

Maki Kobayashi of Newington, Conn., is tied for second after the first round at 3-under-par 68 with Morgan Hoffmann of Wyckoff, N.J. John Shicko of Longmeadow, Mass., came in fourth with a 1-under-par 70. Tied for fifth in the Boys Division are Tom Lo of Los Angeles, Calif., and Andrew Patipaksiri of Cypress, Calif., with 71s.

In Girls Division play, Lendl leads after the first round, three strokes ahead of the field. She went on a 10-hole par-streak starting on No. 9 to finish her round.

“Today is pretty consistent with how I've been playing,” she said. “I hit 14 greens and 13 fairways. My iron shots were pretty good. On the front, I put them pretty close.”

Lendl played the first five holes 2-under-par and had birdies on the par-5 No. 2 and par-3 No. 5.

“The par-3s make this course,” she said. “I was 1-under-par on them.”

Michelle Grilli of Lutherville, Md., and Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn., are tied at 4-over-par 75 to trail Lendl after the first round.

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 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 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 tee times for the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers will begin Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. The Girls Division will tee off first from 7 — 8:03 a.m. followed by the Boys Division from 8:12 — 11:48 a.m.

For more information on the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers, call tournament headquarters at (860) 529-3326.