Tanco chasing Morris at Ping Invitational
Rachel Morris took the first-round lead at the AJGA’s Ping Invitational Saturday with a 2-over 74 at Karsten Creek Club in Stillwater, Okla. Morris was one shot ahead of Victoria Tanco, last year’s Ping champion and the 2008 Rolex Junior Player of the Year.
Morris, of Carlsbad, Calif., had 16 pars and two bogeys. The 17-year-old is ranked No. 13 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings, and is chasing her third AJGA victory this year. She has committed to USC for the fall of 2010.
“I made two bogeys on the front nine and then turned those over and parred the back nine,” Morris said. “I had to stay patient and par the difficult holes. I made my par saves today and hopefully some birdie putts will fall tomorrow.”
Tanco, 15, had one birdie on her card and four bogeys for a 75 that left her tied for second with Erynne Lee, of Silverdale, Wash.
Yueer Cindy Feng, the 13-year-old who cruised to victories at the Thunderbird Invitational and McDonald’s Betsy Rawls Girls Championship earlier this year, was one shot back at 4-over 76. Feng, of Bradenton, Fla., was tied for fourth with Tanaporn Kongkiatkrai of Bradenton and Kelly Shon of Port Washington, N.Y.
Alexis Thompson, who tied for 27th at the Navistar LPGA Classic last week, shot 77 at Karsten Creek and was tied for seventh. She had no birdies in her round. Thompson is the top-ranked player in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings.
Thompson was tied with Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif. Lee finished second at the McDonalds Betsy Rawls Girls Championship and is ranked No. 4 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings.
Jessica Korda, 16, shot 8-over 80 and was tied for 15th. Korda and Lee tied for 26th at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Ani Gulugian, the third-ranked player in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings who has committed to UCLA, shot 82 and was tied for 22nd.
-The AJGA contributed to this story.