As the first round of the American Junior golf tournament came to a close at the Slammer & Squire in World Golf Village, Andrew Alligood from Saint Johns, Fla. and Brandon Dietzel of Germany were tied for the top spot on the leaderboard at one under.
Alligood, who won last year’s American Junior, picked up where he left off by sinking a birdie putt on the first hole. He finished the front nine with another birdie, but was one-over on the seventh hole to stay at -1 for the first nine.
The back nine didn’t start out as good for Alligood as he shot a one-over on the par four, 10th hole. He was even for two holes before making another birdie on 13 to bring him back to -1. He held that one-under score coming off the final hole.
“I have played this course 20 plus times,” said Alligood. “The only difference today was the course is in a little better shape than usual.
“I felt like it (round one) was a similar start to last year. I made a couple more putts last year in the first round compared to this year. Hopefully the result is the same as last year as well.”
Dietzel started his day on the 10th hole and birdied the 11th to give him -1. That didn’t last long as he was one over on the par four 14th hole and finished the back nine at even par.
On the front nine, he birdied the first and fourth hole to put him at two under. The birdie on the fourth hole was followed by a bogie on five and a double bogie on six. He recovered with birdies on eight and nine to finish -1 and in a tie for first place.
“”There course was in really good shape,” said Dietzel. “It was nice weather but a little too hot for me, because my concentration was very down at the end. Then I tried to drink as much as I could to get my concentration back and I did. When I played the last two holes I had two birdies.”
The golfers faced a steady breeze throughout the day with periodic strong gusts. The wind didn’t seem to hinder the play during the day’s competition and in some cases, it actually helped their game.
” The wind was not too bad,” said Dietzel. “The wind was a little bit stronger on the last holes we played, but it was a back wind, so it was very good for us.”
Alligood, Dietzel and Toby Briggs of the United Kingdom will be paired tomorrow with a 9 a.m. tee time. Briggs is tied for third with Ty Stites from Sallisaw, Okla. after the first round, both shooting an even par 72.
Briggs was in the threesome with Alligood today and he said he is looking forward to having him in his group tomorrow also.
“It was a lot of fun playing with Briggs,” said Alligood. “Him and I got along really well. We chatted it up and complained to each other how bad we both putted today.”
In the Girls Division, Sofia Seldemirova from Bulgaria celebrated her 17th birthday a day late by taking the first round lead with a one-over-par 73. She recorded two birdies and three bogies for the day.
Seldemirova goes into tomorrow’s second round of competition with a four-stroke lead over Bahamian golfer Inecia Rolle.
” It was windy but I don’t really care about the wind because I was a bit excited with my game,” said Seldemirova. “When you travel a lot around the world, you get used to windy conditions. I think for me the most important thing is not to get too far from the score. Sometimes I get lost in thinking, ‘am I good, am I bad.’ I think I just need to relax.”
The 2015 American Junior is presented by the World Junior Golf Series, a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation dedicated to creating a competitive international arena for youth that will promote good citizenship, scholarship, benevolence, competitive spirit and outstanding ethical conduct through a variety of competitive sports activities and other organized learning experiences. For additional information, visit www.wjgs.org.
Sponsors for the 2015 American Junior include Titleist, Tom Burnett Golf Academy and World Junior Golf Ranking.