AURORA, Ill. (June 22, 2021) – Standing on the first tee at Aurora Country Club on Tuesday, her 10th hole of the day, Shannyn Vogler decided to make a change.
After a bumpy opening nine, Vogler left her driver in the bag and grabbed her 3-wood. The decision sparked a back-nine 35 for an even-par round of 72 that put her atop the leaderboard after one round of the 94th Women’s Western Junior.
“I did my best to do some damage control after I realized I wasn’t hitting my driver well off the tee,” said Vogler, who made three bogeys on her first nine to go out in 37.
Vogler, of Moline, Ill., is the first player to win consecutive Illinois State Junior Girls Championships. She made birdie on Nos. 3 and 4, then ripped off a string of pars that didn’t end until she bogeyed No. 9, her final hole of the day.
That was enough to build a two-stroke lead. Vogler is the only player at even par after a day in which Aurora Country Club’s tight fairways and vexing greens challenged the field of top junior players.
Melanie Walker, of Burke, Virginia; Kelli Scheck, of Greensboro, Georgia; Katherine Potter, of South Lyon, Michigan; and Katherine Lemke, of Geneva, Illinois, all posted 2-over 74 to sit tied for second place.
Walker made a pair of birdies to help offset four bogeys. She said the key to attacking Aurora Country Club’s Thomas Bendelow and William Boice Langford design was picking her spots.
“If you can play defensive on a few holes out here, you will find yourself with more than one birdie,” Walker said. “You’ll shoot well.”
Scheck is a veteran of WWGA events, having played in the 2019 Women’s Western Junior and the 2020 Women’s Western Amateur. She made 16 pars and just two bogeys Tuesday, edging her older sister Katie, who will attend Penn State this fall, by three.
“The course is in fantastic condition,” Kelli Scheck said. “I struggled off the tee, scrambling most of the day, but depended on my short game, chipping and putting.”
Three players are tied for sixth at 3-over par, including Mara Janess, of Barrington, Illinois. Highly ranked players Montgomery Ferreira, of Tacoma, Washington, and Sophie Zhang-Murphy, of Saratoga, California, are in group of five players at 4 over.
The Women’s Western Junior continues with 18 more holes of stroke-play qualifying Wednesday, after which the field of 78 will be cut to the low 16 players for match play. Wednesday’s second round will begin at 8 am.
The Women’s Western Junior Championship is a testing ground for the stars of the future. Past champions include Candie Kung (1998), Christie Kerr (1994), Grace Park (1993), and Nancy Lopez (1972, 1973, 1974).
Attendance and parking for the Women’s Western Junior are free. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @WWGAGolf.
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