The Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star is one of 11 events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger players to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments.
The Series concludes with the Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
The Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at WindStone Golf Club in Ringgold, Ga. The tournament field includes 72 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-15 from 20 states and three countries — United States, Mexico and Canada. The Boys Division is playing par-70 at 6,352 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 5,658 yards.
Zhang started the day strong and carried a 3-under-par score through the first three holes.
“I felt really calm and I started out making three birdies in a row so my confidence went up from there,” Zhang said. “It was a big momentum boost because I had to make a couple 15-footers.”
Meissner credits his division-leading mark to his short game and accurate shots off the tee.
“I got up and down and putted well all day which helped me take advantage of my birdie putts,” Meissner said. “I also never really drove it into any trouble. This course is pretty tight so if you go off the fairway on a lot of holes you're out of bounds or in a hazard.”
In third place in the Boys Division is Braden Thornberry of Olive Branch, Miss. with 3-under-par 67 and Issei Tanabe of Huntington Beach, Calif., Ben Albin of Santa Fe, N.M. and Cooper Dossey of Austin, Texas are tied for fourth with matching 1-under-par 69.
Swords looks forward to taking her strong start into the final two days of play.
“It feels pretty good to play in these events with all the good competition,” Swords said. “I'm just going to try and play steady the next two days.”
Despite the hilly layout, Daniel says this is a course she enjoys playing most.
“I played this course last year and I really enjoyed this course,” Daniel said. “It's hard walking, but I really enjoy playing it so I really like this tournament.”
Kaho Matsubara of San Diego, sits in third place in the Girls Division at the end of the first round with a 1-over-par 71.