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JUNIOR ALL-STAR AT WALNUT CREEK
Walnut Creek Country Club - Pecan Course
Mansfield, Texas •
April 20 - 22
SPIETH AND THOMAS SHARE TWO-SHOT LEAD AFTER OPENING ROUND OF JUNIOR ALL-STAR AT WALNUT CREEK
Collier, Na and Yang tied at the top in Girls Division at Walnut Creek Country Club’s Pecan Course
MANSFIELD, Texas – Jordan Spieth of Dallas and Justin Thomas of Goshen, Ky., each fired a 2-under-par 68 and are tied for the lead after the first round of the Junior All-Star at Walnut Creek Saturday. In the Girls Division, Hannah Collier of Birmingham, Ala., Grace Na of Oakland, Calif. and Michelle Yang of Los Angeles each carded a 2-over-par 72 for a three-way tie atop the leaderboard.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at Walnut Creek is a 36-hole stroke play event held at Walnut Creek Country Club’s Pecan Course. The 84-player field features players from 26 states and three countries, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. The Girls Division is playing the Pecan Course at 5,647 yards, while the Boys Division is playing it at 6,385 yards.
In the Boys Division, Spieth finished with a 2-under-par 33 on the back nine and Thomas posted two 1-under-par 34s to seize the two-stroke advantage heading into Sunday’s final round.
“I struck the ball pretty well, but the greens were tough,” said Spieth, who drained four birdies in his round. “It’s my first AJGA tournament, so I will just take it hole by hole tomorrow.”
“I left some shots out there, but I played really well,” said Thomas. “Just getting back into the AJGA and playing well has boosted my confidence because the competition is so good out here.”
Payne Denman of Riverwatch, Tenn. is two back of the leaders after his even-par 70, while Blake Biddle of St. Charles, Ill., Austin Green of Frisco, Texas, Mateusz Jedrzejczyk of Warsaw, Poland and Alexander McMahon of Naples, Fla., are all knotted in fourth place at 72.
In the Girls Division, Collier and Na each fired two 1-over-par 36s amid the windy conditions, while Yang opened the front nine with an even-par 35 to also grab a three-stroke lead following the first day.
“The wind started to pick up, so making birdies really helped out,” said Collier, who made four birdies on the day. I feel pretty good with my score, especially with the conditions out there.”
“I played well; my shots were solid,” said Na. “I made some mistakes, but that’s golf. I just tried to be positive the whole round, but I know I can do better.”
“My putting was really good today,” said Yang. “I just took it shot by shot, so I’m happy with a 72 for sure.”
Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., is in the fourth spot after posting a 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 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
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.
Final round tee times will run from off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Sunday at Walnut Creek Country Club.
For more information on the Junior All-Star at Walnut Creek, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 617-2428.
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.