AUSTIN, Texas (Aug. 7, 2012) -- Skye Inakoshi (2013) of Honolulu and Madison Talley (2013) of Clarksville, Ark., currently sit atop the leaderboards in the Boys and Girls Divisions, respectively, of the 44th annual Trusted Choice® Big “I” National Championship at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, Texas.
Inakoshi carded one bogey on his way to a two-shot lead with a 5-under-par 32-34—66. He said the conditions were difficult, but playing in his first national tournament has been a great experience.
“I played safe, but I grinded a lot today,” Inakoshi said. “I just wanted to play par. I didn’t want to just go for the pin today because the pins were crazy. I feel really lucky just to play.”
Local golfers Daniel Martinez (2017) and Stratton Nolen (2013), both from Austin, are on Inakoshi’s heels at 3-under-par 68 and 2-under-par 69, respectively. Andy Simmons (2013) of Charlotte, N.C., and Brendan Doyle (2014) of Louisville, Ken., are tied with Nolen at 2-under-par-69 to round out the top five.
Talley made two 20-foot putts on the day to claim her lead, including one on No. 18 to cap her round of 2-under-par 36-34—70. She said that being from the South helped her manage the heat.
“I love the course,” Talley said. “I guess it’s just because it works with my kind of play. It works with the way I work the ball. I think that whoever places the ball in the right spot will win this tournament. Of course, you need to make some putts, but you need to place it where you want to.”
The Girls Division showcased a much tighter race in the opening round. Talley holds a slim one-stroke lead over Summar Roachell (2013) of Conway, Ark., with five players tied for third place at even-par-72.
The par 71 boys 7,031 yards with a course rating of 75.0, while the girls are playing at 6,098 yards with a par of 72 and a course rating of 76.3.
Wednesday’s second-round starting times from the first and tenth tees will begin at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Following play, the field will be a cut to the low 54 boys and 27 girls including ties. Third- and final-round starting times will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday. The awards ceremony will immediately follow final-round play. Complete tournament information is available at bigigolf.com.
The Trusted Choice® Big “I” National Championship, presented by Texas Mutual, is renowned as the nation’s largest junior stroke-play golf tournament. This year’s field features top junior golfers from 38 states who advanced from qualifying tournaments held around the nation. Previous participants include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Jonathan Byrd, Hunter Mahan, Kevin Na, Cristie Kerr, Cheyenne Woods and Grace Park.