Jones Leads Eighth Texas Girls' Invitational at Crown Colony
LUFKIN, Texas – Defending champion Hailey Jones leads the Texas Girls’ Invitational after a 1-over-par 73 Saturday afternoon at Crown Colony Country Club.
Crown Colony has proven to be a tough test at the eighth annual Texas Girls’ Invitational for 50 of the best junior golfers in Texas. The Von Hagge and Devlin designed par-72 track is nestled in the tall pine trees of east Texas. The course’s tight fairways, elevated greens and numerous hazards proved a challenge for all players. The course did not yield one score at even-par or better in Saturday’s first round of the Texas Girls’ Invitational.
The Legends Junior Tour created the Texas Girls’ Invitational in 2010. The inaugural event had 12 girls. The championship was at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club for the previous five years. All girls are playing 5,968 yards.
Jones, also the reigning two-time Legends Junior Tour Girls Player of the year, started her round on the 10th hole, a 350-yard, par-4. She birdied that hole and things seemed to be going well.
“I felt comfortable and thought I could go low starting with that birdie,” Jones said. “But then I doubled the 11th hole and had to regroup.”
After that double-bogey, only two holes in, Jones needed her caddie, her dad, to relax her.
“I love him on the bag for me because he helps me calm down and relax. I like to talk to him, not even necessarily about golf, and he tells me jokes to keep the mood light. I needed him after that double.”
On her back nine, she opened with a birdie on the sixth easiest hole of the day, a 515-yard par 5. She had back-to-back bogeys on holes four and five but birdied her final hole for an even-par 36 on her closing nine.
Her 1-over 73 leads by one shot over a trio of players. Houston’s Christine Wang and Zoe Slaughter along with Katy’s Lauren Nguyen all carded 2-over 74’s in their opening rounds. Jackie Barry of Kingwood sits in solo fifth place after a 3-over 75. Makenzie Niblett, Kaylee Vesely and Hana Bowman all sit in a tie for sixth, three shots back of Jones.
The Texas Girls’ Invitational final round is scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM off the first and 10th tees Sunday morning. For more information on the championship or the Legends Junior Tour, please visit www.TXGA.org.
For full first round results, click here.