With the first round in the books at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, three players are tied atop a leaderboard loaded with red numbers.
Ariya Jutanugarn, Yueer Cindy Feng and Manuela Carbajo Re came out of the gate firing Tuesday at Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C., shooting 3-under 68 for a share of the lead.
If Feng, No. 11 in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings, can keep up the good play and break away from the pack over the next two rounds, she’ll earn a second consecutive invitational title after a win last month at the Thunderbird International Junior. It would be the third invitational title for the 14-year-old, who started Round 1 with four birdies in her first six holes.
Jutanugarn and Re aren’t likely to step aside too quickly, however, as both also threw out plenty of birdies in Round 1. Jutanugarn, who became the youngest player in an LPGA event when at age 11 she entered the 2009 Honda PTT LPGA Thailand, went 6 under in four holes after making the turn. Re, in her AJGA invitational debut, spread out six birdies in her round.
Close behind the leaders is Mariah Stackhouse, who played in the LPGA’s Mojo 6 on a sponsor exemption in April. Stackhouse shot 69.
Top-ranked Victoria Tanco and Alison Lee (No. 3) are tied at 70 with Alison Lee. Jutanugarn’s sister, Moriya, is another shot back in a four-way tie for eighth.