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St. James Plantation - The Founders Club
Southport, N.C. • March 27 - 29

Miller leads Girls Division with a 78 at the Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation

SOUTHPORT, N.C. -Trey Mullinax of Mount Olive, Ala., shot a 2-under-par 70 for the lead heading into Sunday's final round at the Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation. Kelly Miller of Hilton Head, S.C., leads the Girls Division with a 6-over-par 78 after the first round of play.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation is a 36-hole stroke play event being held at St. James Plantation — The Members Club Course. The tournament field consists of 95 boys and girls, ages 12-18, from 20 states, China and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,752 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,054 yards.

The Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation is one of eight events being held as part of the Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series. The Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.

Mullinax tallied five birdies on the day including one on No. 9 where he used his gap wedge from the fairway to get the ball six feet from the hole and putt in for birdie. Mullinax then headed to the back nine determined to repeat with a birdie on No. 10. He accomplished his goal when he nearly sunk the ball in two shots.

Playing in his first AJGA tournament, Mullinax had a tough time with the back nine, bogeying Nos. 16 and 17, but thinks the caliber of competition helps make him a better golfer.

“I feel like being a part of the AJGA will make me better,” said Mullinax. “There is a lot of good competition and I can't wait for the rest of the season.”

Rounding out the Boys Division is Richard Fountain from Raleigh, N.C., with an even par 72. Tied for third with 1-over-par 73s are Yifan Liu of Guangzhou, China, Garrett Ray of Huntersville, N.C., Matthew Conley of Raleigh, N.C., and Michael Mullmann of Wilmington, N.C.

In the Girls Division, Miller's first AJGA event was a success as she ended the day in the lead. Up and down throughout the day, Miller went 39-39 without a birdie and sank a 6-foot putt for par on No. 18, when she had been struggling with putting all day.

“I felt I played really well, but my putts were a problem,” said Miller. “I was really nervous because this was my first AJGA event.”

Trailing Miller by one stroke and tied for second in the Girls Division are Taelor Rubin of Raleigh, N.C., and Paige Reese of South Hill, Va., with 7-over-par 79s. In fourth is Maureen Dunnagan of Lexington, S.C., with a 8-over-par 80. Rounding out the top five are Kaitlin Voll of Alpharetta, Ga., and Vivian Tsui of Markham, Ontario, tied for fifth with 9-over-par 81s.

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 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, 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.

The final round for the Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation will be an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start Sunday, March 29. For more information about the Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation please contact AJGA tournament headquarters at 770-861-0519.