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New Castle Country Club
New Castle, Pa. • July 14 - 17

Rohanna, Meier, Benavides tied at 1-over-par, lead Girls Division at New Castle Country Club

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Matt Porter of Cortland, N.Y., sits alone atop the leaderboard after carding a 2-under-par 70 in Tuesday's first round of the AJGA Junior at New Castle. In the Girls Division, Rachel Rohanna of Waynesburg, Pa., Amy Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich., and Susana Benavides of Bradenton, Fla., share the top spot of the leaderboard at 1-over-par 73.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at New Castle is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at New Castle Country Club. The tournament field consists of 98 players, 75 boys and 23 girls from 20 states, Canada and Thailand. The Boys Division is being played at 6,577 yards and the Girls Division at 5,987 yards.

Strong starts off both nines and precise putting is to credit to Porter's 2-under-par 70. Porter carded six birdies in Tuesday's first round, including his one on No. 10 which helped him clinch the lead.

“I owe my low score to my work on the greens,” Porter said. “My putt for birdie on No. 10 was important; it got me going again after my struggle on No. 9.”

In a six-way tie for second are Brandon Rukin of Pepper Pike, Ohio, Ryan Vince of Charlotte, N.C., Andrew Kim of Lake Mary, Fla., Rocky Khara of Sebring, Fla., Patrick Leisure of Charlottesville, Va., and Gregor Orlando of Erie, Pa., at 1-under-par 71.

With only 28 putts for the round, Meier contributes her low first-round score to her short game and low number of putts.

“My short game was strong,” Meier said. “I hit 10 greens. I had some good chips and putts, which is imperative. Overall, I played consistently.”

Three of Rohanna's four birdies were on the back nine, giving her the confidence she needed to finish her round.

“My drives were good on the back nine,” Rohanna said. “I almost sunk a hole-in-one on No. 13, but it rolled over the cup. I ended up at 1-under-par for the back.”

Starting off her round with bogeys on Nos. 1 and 3, Benavides was quickly able to regain the steady play she needed to finish the round tied for the lead.

“I made a 30-footer for par from off the green on No. 6,” Benavides said. “I had an irregular day, but overall it was a good 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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 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 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.

For more information about the AJGA Junior at New Castle please contact tournament headquarters at 724-654-6689.

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