Stanford commit Rachel Heck of Memphis is part of a logjam at the top of the leaderboard following Monday's first round of the Junior PGA Championships in Lexington.
Heck is currently in a 10-way tie for ninth with a 3-under 69 at the Kearney Hill Golf Links and is one of 39 (out of 144) golfers who shot below par.
Alexa Melton, a high school senior this fall, set a championship record and personal best 9-under 63 to set the pace. The Pepperdine commit is two strokes ahead of Duke commit Erica Shepard, a prep senior in Indiana.
Redwood Shores resident Lucy Li is in a two-way tie for third, with Concord's Yealimi Noh, at 6-under 66.
“There are many ups and downs in golf so you can’t get too high about it or too excited for it, but I’m feeling pretty good,” said Melton. “I was sticking the ball close, within six feet frequently, and I captured those putts.”
In addition to competing for a national championship, all contestants with U.S. citizenship and members of the high school graduating class of 2019 or younger will have the opportunity to earn an exemption onto the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team.
The winner and runner-up in this week’s Championship will automatically make the team and compete in the 11th Junior Ryder Cup. The biennial matches between the U.S. and Europe will be held at Disneyland Paris on Sept. 24-25.