Matthew NeSmith is tied with four others for the lead after the first round of the Rolex Tournament of Champions at Capital City Club in Alpharetta, Ga.
NeSmith, who won the FootJoy Invitational last week to qualify for the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship in July, shot a 2-under 68 along with Vincent Martino, Austin Padova, Brad Dalke and Cody Cox.
Lee McCoy, Andy Shin, Nick Rodriguez and Tae Wan Lee are a shot back.
In the girls’ division, Marijosse Navarro and Karen Chung share the top spot after posting rounds of 1-under 69. Chung won last year’s Thunderbird Invitational, and is ranked No. 7 by Golfweek. Navarro still is waiting for her breakthrough. She has three AJGA titles, but despite holding the first-round lead at the 2011 Annika Invitational, has yet to win one of the elite events.
Five more players are tied for third behind Chung and Navarro. That group, at even-par 70, includes Hee Wook Choi, Jaye Marie Green, Nicole Morales, Casey Danielson and Maria Torres.
Pailin Ruttanasupagid, who advanced last week to the third round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links is T-8 at 1-over 71 with Yu Liu.
Ariya Jutanugarn, Golfweek’s top-ranked junior who won the previous two AJGA Invitationals (the Rolex Girls’ Junior and the Thunderbird Invitational), is tied for 10th, another shot back.