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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Strong Starts for Young and Morales at Jr Ams

Cameron Young
Cameron Young     Photo courtesy USGA/Steve Gibbons
Cameron Young and Nicole Morales posted strong first round scores in the US Junior Amateur and US Girls' Junior Championships. While it's way early to celebrate in both events, the Westchester teens are in excellent positions.

Young, the 16-year-old son of Sleepy Hollow CC pro David Young and his wife Barbara, a former pro herself, was just one behind the leaders in the 156-player field at the par-72, 7,740-yard Martis Camp Club. with a 4-under 68. He started on the 10th hole and birdied No. 14 before making eagle at No. 15 when he hit a 4-iron 240 yards to 2 feet. Young kept his round going by getting up and down for par at No. 11 and two-putting from 65 feet for another save at the 218-yard, par-3 third.

“I am playing conservatively off the tee,” said Young, who took three weeks off in June to recover from a shoulder injury. “I am picking my spots when I am going at flagsticks and at the middle of greens.”

Jim Liu, the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, was just one stroke back with a 3-under 69. Liu, 17, of Smithtown, N.Y., who is playing in his fifth Junior Amateur and was the runner-up last year, had it to 5-under after 15 holes but bogeyed Nos. 16 and 18. He pulled his driver to the left on the 16th, a drivable par-4, and his chip went over the green. Liu lipped out a 6-foot par putt on his final hole.

“It was a good score; you have to feel somewhat decent about it,” Liu said. “You are trying not to dig a hole for yourself. It starts all over in match play.”

Scottie Scheffler, 17, of Dallas, and Corey Eddings, 17, of Roseville, Calif., fired rounds of 5-under-par 67 Monday to share the lead on the first day of stroke-play qualifying. One more day of stroke play will be followed by match play that culminates in the final round Saturday.

Nicole Morales
Nicole Morales
Photo courtesy USGA/Fred Vuich
Nicole Morales, was T4 in the first round of the Girls' Amateur being played this week at Sycamore Hills GC in Fort Wayne, IN. Morales, who plays out of GlenArbor GC in Bedford, NY, was one of seven players who carded a 69 on the 6,312-yard Nicklaus designed course. 

Morales, a native of South Salem, N.Y., looked to her Junior PGA experiences to bolster her championship efforts, but for far different reasons that most of her competitors. After numerous flight delays, an unforeseen overnight stay in Atlanta and a set of golf clubs that arrived in Fort Wayne after she did, Morales was unable to practice at Sycamore Hills prior to her Monday-morning tee time.

“I feel like I was very patient with myself all day,” said Morales, who will attend the University of Alabama in the fall. “I gave myself a lot of opportunities.”

Morales had to get up and down just to save par on the par-4 first hole. With that opening scare behind her, the 17-year-old, competing in her fifth and final Girls’ Junior, converted birdies on the ensuing two holes and cruised from there.

“I felt really confident, which is exactly the opposite of what I felt like going into this week,” said Morales, winner of the 2013 Thunderbird International Junior and No. 12 in the WWAGR. “This is my last U.S. Girls’ Junior, so I’m going to try and go for big.”

Andrea Lee shot a 5-under-par 67 and holds a one-stroke lead following Monday’s first round of stroke-play qualifying. Another round of stroke play today will narrow the field for match play, with the final scheduled for Saturday.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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