Around the Green
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Hill, Yuan, and Vollmer Lead 97th Texas Junior Amateur
WHITNEY – Boerne’s Price Hill grabbed the lead in Monday’s first round of the 97th Texas Junior Amateur with an impressive 5-under 67 on White Bluff Resort’s New Course. Price’s round included four birdies and an eagle as he leads the Boys Division by three strokes. In the Girls Division, two are tied atop the leaderboard at 2-under par 70. Joshua’s Kaylee Yuan and Julia Vollmer of San Antonio lead the field headed into Tuesday’s second round at White Bluff Resort’s Old Course.
With temperatures above 100 degrees, the field overcame the heat and produced solid scores. The Boys 15-18 Division played the New Course while the Girls 15-18, Girls 14 & Under, and Boys 14 & Under Division’s played the Old Course.
In the Boy’s 15-18 Division, Hill rode his accuracy to success. The incoming freshman at Texas Tech University has been looking forward to this event and made it known with his impressive play in round one.
“I’ve been trending in the right direction,” Hill said. “I played well last week in the U.S. Amateur Qualifier. I’ve been practicing and looking forward to this event for a while.”
Carding rounds of 2-under 70 to sit in a four-way tie for second were Prosper’s Austin Randall, Jace Hulett of Boerne, Jayk Altic of Houston, and Austin’s Trenton Mierl. All four players will look to repeat a solid performance in Tuesday’s second round.
An eye-popping seven players share a tie for sixth place after rounds of 1-under 71. They all sit four shots back of Hill. A stacked leaderboard will look to make moves in Tuesday’s second round on the New Course. The division will cut to the low 45 players and ties after Tuesday’s second round.
In the Girl’s 15-18 Division, Yuan stayed steady throughout her round en route to the 2-under 70. Vollmer, on the other hand, had a tale of two nines. Vollmer, who started on hole No. 10, made the turn at 2-over before rattling off four birdies on her back nine to grab a share of the lead.
“My back nine I just put myself in play and on the greens more,” said Vollmer, a rising senior from San Antonio. “I didn’t hit as many greens on the front. That was the main difference between the nines for me.”
Sitting just one shot back of the lead at 1-under par is Spring Branch’s Sayers Allen. A trio of Austin’s Bowen Lan, Sidney Robertson of Tyler, and San Antonio’s Lydia Portlock occupy a share of fourth place at even-par.
The division will cut to the low 27 players and ties after Tuesday’s second round.
Megan Lee of Frisco tied Hill’s low round of the tournament thus far with a 5-under 67 to take control of the Girls 14 & Under Division.
Lee’s impressive round featured a 5-under 31 on the back nine. She tallied up six total birdies and credited a Texas Golf Hall of Fame member for the success.
“I read the book we were given (as a tee gift) about golfer’s who play tournament’s and tournament golfer’s,” Lee said. “Like even if I get unlucky, and that can happen, I tried to just stay calm even when I made birdie because I have a hard time doing that.”
Each player in the 97th Texas Junior Amateur field received a copy of Texas golf legend Mike Booker’s new book – The Tournament Golfer’s Playbook. Booker spoke about the book and lessons he’s learned throughout his lengthy golf career to the players at a welcome dinner on Monday night.
Lee leads the Girls 14 & Under Division by seven shots over Frisco’s Lisa Zhang who carded an opening 2-over 74.
In the Boys 14 & Under Division, The Woodlands’ Tripp Depoy fired a 3-under 69 to take a three shot lead. He leads a trio of players who carded even-par rounds of 72 to share a tie for second.
“I fought my way through and tried to get back to even par,” Depoy said of a 3-over start in his first two holes. “I made a few birdies to get back to even and said let’s go lower. It was fun making a lot of birdies.”
Both the Boys and Girls 14 & Under Divisions are playing 36 holes and will crown champions on Tuesday. The Boys and Girls 15-18 Divisions are playing 54 holes and will conclude play on Wednesday.
Round 2 of the 97th Texas Junior Amateur kicks off Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.