Kallan leads pack after AZ Amateur round 1

Kyle Kallan, of Surprise, shot a five-under 67 to take the lead after the first round of stroke play at the 86th Arizona Amateur Championship. This year’s event is being held at Pinnacle Peak Country Club, a par 72, 6,902-yard course in Scottsdale.

Kallan is fourth in the AGA performance rankings with 445 points. Prior to this year’s Arizona Amateur, he won the 2008 and 2009 Northern Amateurs as well as the 2010 Phoenix City Amateur. 

“I hit a lot of fairways and just had one bogey. I just didn’t get a good lie out of the rough,” noted a modest Kallan who birdied holes 1, 6, 8, 13, 14 and 18. “It’s just the first round, just for positioning. We’re just playing for a seed. There’s lots of golf left to play.”

The field will be cut to the top 63 players following the second round on Tuesday. Those remaining will advance to the match play portion beginning Wednesday, along with defending champion David McDaniel, who is automatically seeded to match play. McDaniel finished runner-up in the US Amateur Public Links Championship July 17.

Following Kallan by one shot are Chandler’s Jake Golembiewski and Carefree’s Tyler Woolridge. Trailing by two is Tucson’s BJ Workman.

Jake Golembiewski, who prepared for the tournament by playing the course twice last week, shot a four-under 68, with six birdies today.
“I got off to a rough start,” said Golembiewski. “I started off bogey, birdie, bogey, birdie. Then I just settled down and relied on my putter all day. I putted really well. My main goal is to get into match play and go from there. Obviously, medalist would be nice, but the key is moving forward.”

Golembiewski placed second in this year’s Falcon Amateur. In the fall he’ll play for Grand Canyon University.

Woolridge, who is also a Grand Canyon University player, shot a four-under 68 with seven birdies. “I was hitting the tee shots really well, which is important because, with the rough here, sometimes you can’t find your ball,” he said. “As long as you hit the greens, they roll really pure here. The course is in really good shape, so the key is your tee shots. I just didn’t really hit any shots close, I just made a lot of putts.” This year Woolridge tied for eighth in the Falcon Amateur.

BJ Workman shot a three-under 69. "I had five birdies and an eagle. I started off birdieing on [hole] one out of the front bunker with about a foot to putt,” said Workman. “On 14 I had a five iron to the green, hit it long and left, then chipped in for an eagle across the green.”

The players were impressed by the greens. “The course is in phenomenal shape,” Kallan remarked. “The head superintendent and director of golf are doing a great job. The greens are perfect. They can’t get any better.”

Golembiewski commented, “The course is in great shape. The greens are good. The rough was long, so there was a premium on getting it in play.”

Workman added, “The course was great, fairways were good, rough was long. I definitely had to work to get out of the rough. The greens are good, fast.”