Claycomb, Highsmith share AJGA PING Invitational Lead
First round co-leaders Canon Claycomb (L) and Joe Highsmith (R) <br>(AJGA Photo)
First round co-leaders Canon Claycomb (L) and Joe Highsmith (R)
(AJGA Photo)

STILLWATER, OK (October 7, 2017) - Hailey Jones of Dallas, Texas, leads the Girls Division after carding a first-round score of 2-under-par 70. Joe Highsmith of Lakewood, Washington, and Canon Claycomb of Bowling Green, Kentucky, paced the Boys Division with a 3-under-par 69.

Since 2006, the event has been conducted at Karsten Creek and produced champions such as Jordan Spieth, Emiliano Grillo and Alison Lee. With 14 of the top-20 boys and 15 of the top-20 girls in the Rolex AJGA Rankings in the field, The PING Invitational has one of the strongest fields on the 2017 AJGA schedule.

Highsmith, a Pepperdine University verbal commit, finished birdie - eagle on Nos. 17 and 18 to move from three strokes back to T1. Claycomb took the lead early, carding a bogey-free front nine and tallying four birdies. Both juniors were members of the victorious U.S. Junior Presidents Cup Team and playing in The PING Invitational for the first time.

Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California, and Amari Avery of Riverside, California, are tied for second after carding a 1-under-par first-round score.

Li finished runner-up at the 2016 PING Invitational and won her first invitational in March at the ANA Junior Inspiration. Li is currently No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

Thirteen-year-old and two-time AJGA Champion Avery is playing in her first PING Invitational. She is currently ranked No. 15 in Rolex AJGA Rankings and finished T3 at her first AJGA Invitational in August, the Swinging Skirts AJGA Invitational.

Jones a two-time Rolex Junior All-American is looking for her first invitational win and fifth AJGA victory.

Second-round tee times will run from 8:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Karsten Creek on Sunday, October 8.

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ABOUT THE The PING Invitational Junior

One of the AJGA series of tournaments that require an invitation to participate. Format is 54 holes of stroke play.

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