Hot start to AJGA event at Long Cove

June 16, 2010 

Sweltering heat and international flair dominated the opening round of the AJGA's Rolex Girls Junior Championship on Tuesday.

On a steamy day when the heat index hit 115 degrees, a trio of players with international roots matched the women's course record at Long Cove Club with rounds of 3-under-par 68 to take the early lead in the 54-hole event featuring 76 of the world's best female junior golfers.

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, Argentina's Manuela Carbajo Re and Yueer "Cindy" Feng, a native of China who lives in Orlando, Fla., hold a one-shot lead over Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga. Top-ranked Argentinean Victoria Tanco is among a group of three players who are two shots back.

Five of the top 10 players in the Polo Golf Rankings are in the field, and the top-ranked players fared well Tuesday -- Feng (No. 4) is among the co-leaders, while Tanco (No. 1) and Alison Lee (No. 5) are tied for fifth -- which is to be expected on such a large stage.

"I've played in quite a few of these, and I started playing when I was young," Feng said, "so I won't get nervous out there."

Indeed, Feng has played in the biggest women's golf tournament this country has to offer -- the U.S. Women's Open -- and fellow co-leader Jutanugarn has twice made the cut in the Honda LPGA Thailand.

The outlier among the leaders is Carbajo Re, who doesn't appear among the top 400 players in the Polo rankings and doesn't have much of a track record in AJGA events.

"This is my first invitational, and it's really important to me," she said, admitting she was a bit nervous standing on the first tee.

The jitters had melted away by the time she made a birdie at the par-3 second hole, and she rode a hot putter to five more birdies. She would have led alone if not for a bogey at the par-4 18th, where she missed the green to the right and couldn't get up and down.

Feng's round was equally erratic. Riding the momentum of successfully defending her title at the Thunderbird International Junior two weeks ago, she made four birdies in her first six holes. She finished the round with one of only six birdies at the 371-yard 18th, giving her seven birdies and seven pars to go with four bogeys.

"It was a bit up and down today," Feng said. "I was hitting it close to the pin on the front nine, so I had a lot of birdie chances, but I made a few silly mistakes and made bogeys."

Jutanugarn found her hot streak on the back nine, making birdies on five of the first six holes after making the turn to charge to the top of the leaderboard. She made a bogey at the par-3 17th -- which played as the hardest hole on the course Tuesday with a stroke average of 3.66 -- but made an 8-foot putt to save par at No. 18.

"Really lucky," Jutanugarm said of her 4-under-par back nine, saying nothing was going right on the front nine but everything turned around on the back.

In all, 11 players carded rounds of par or better, and 20 players will begin today within five shots of the lead. Among them is Hilton Head Island resident Ri Hyang Park, an International Junior Golf Academy student who is tied for 16th at 2 over. Bluffton High School's Samantha Buchanan struggled on the back nine to finish at 7 over and is tied for 47th.

Anne Marie Covar of Edgefield, S.C., hit the day's only hole-in-one, acing the 162-yard second hole.

The trio of leaders will tee off No. 1 at 9:18 a.m. for today's second round, as tournament officials elected to send players off both the first and 10th tees in an effort to keep players from being on the course during the hottest part of the day.

SCORES

Scores after the first round of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Long Cove Club; Par: 71; Yardage: 6229; Rating: 76.8; Slope: 139

Yueer Cindy Feng

68

Manuela Carbajo Re

68

Ariya Jutanugarn

68

Mariah Stackhouse

69

Alison Lee

70

Marijosse Navarro

70

Victoria Tanco

70

Gabriella Then

71

Moriya Jutanugarn

71

Kyung Kim

71

Erynne Lee

71

Ginger Howard

72

Nicole Zhang

72

Emily Tubert

72

Viviana Macias

72

Anne Cheng

73

Aurora Kan

73

Stephanie Meadow

73

Mariana Sims

73

Ri Hyang Park

73

Marika Liu

74

Karen Chung

74

Kelly Shon

74

Kelli Oride

74

Collins Bradshaw

74

Samantha Wagner

74

Monifa Sealy

75

Robbi Howard

75

A.J. Newell

75

Doris Chen

75

Daffodil Sanchez75

Risa Murata

75

Ana Raga

75

Maria Maymon

76

Kyle Roig

76

Mayko Chwen Wang

76

Tiffany Lim

76

Casie Cathrea

76

April McCoy

77

Jaye Marie Green

77

Juliet Vongphoumy

77

Kaira Martin

77

Janie Jackson

77

Lauren Kim

77

Hana Lee

77

Szu-Han Chen

77

Heather Proctor

78

Esther Lee

78

Monica Umpant

78

Amira Alexander

78

Elizabeth Breed

78

Jordan Lippetz

78

Samantha Buchanan

78

Allison Emrey

78

Mikayla Harmon

79

Anne Marie Covar

79

Elizabeth Doty

79

Briana Mao

79

Emily Collins

79

Michelle Butler

80

Gabriela Lopez

80

Saki Okamura

81

Sierra Sims

81

Bethany Wu

81

Talia Campbell

81

Portland Rosen

81

Sun Gyoung Park

81

Kendall Martindale

82

ValeriaMacias

82

Silvia Garces

83

Rene Sobolewski

83

Taylor Manning

83

Yugene Lee

84

Lauren Diaz-Yi

84

Irene Jung

84

Kaitlyn Rohrback

85

TEE TIMES

Tee times for today's second round of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Long Cove Club. All times a.m.

No. 1 tee

7:30 -- Maria Maymon; Casie Cathrea

7:39 -- Tiffany Lim; Kyle Roig; Mayko Chwen Wang

7:48 -- Daffodil Sanchez; Robbi Howard; Risa Murata

7:57 -- Doris Chen; Monifa Sealy; Ana Raga

8:06 -- Samantha Wagner; Marika Liu; A.J. Newell

8:15 -- Kelly Shon; Karen Chung; Collins Bradshaw

8:24 -- Ri Hyang Park; Mariana Sims; Kelli Oride

8:33 -- Anne Cheng; Stephanie Meadow; Aurora Kan

8:42 -- Ginger Howard; Emily Tubert; Viviana Macias

8:51 -- Erynne Lee; Gabriella Then; Nicole Zhang

9:00 -- Alison Lee; Moriya Jutanugarn; Kyung Kim

9:09 -- Mariah Stackhouse; Marijosse Navarro; Victoria Tanco

9:18 -- Ariya Jutanugarn; Yueer Cindy Feng; Manuela Carbajo Re

No. 10 tee

7:30 -- Szu-Han Chen; Jaye Marie Green

7:39 -- Hana Lee; Kaira Martin; Lauren Kim

7:48 -- Juliet Vongphoumy; April McCoy; Janie Jackson

7:57 -- Jordan Lippetz; Elizabeth Breed; Esther Lee

8:06 -- Allison Emrey; Heather Proctor; Samantha Buchanan

8:15 -- Monica Umpant; Amira Alexander; Emily Collins

8:24 -- Mikayla Harmon; Elizabeth Doty; Briana Mao

8:33 -- Anne Marie Covar; Gabriela Lopez; Michelle Butler

8:42 -- Sierra Sims; Portland Rosen; Sun Gyoung Park

8:51 -- Talia Campbell; Saki Okamura; Bethany Wu

9:00 -- Kendall Martindale; ValeriaMacias; Taylor Manning

9:09 -- Rene Sobolewski; Silvia Garces; Irene Jung

9:18 -- Yugene Lee; Lauren Diaz-Yi; Kaitlyn Rohrback

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service