GRAND PRAIRIE Ben Delarosa of Dallas posted a 6-under 66 and leads the Boys 15-18 Division after the first round of the North Texas Classic at Tangle Ridge Golf Course. Fellow Dallas-native, Andrew Petruzzelli leads the Boys 14 & Under Division at 3-under while Katy’s Lauren Nguyen leads the Girls 12-18 Division at even-par.

Boys 15-18 Division
1. Ben Delarosa                 66
T2. Matthew Spaulding      67
T2. Shaheen Momin          67
T4. Shoichiro Kato             68
T4. Garrett Townsend        68

Girls 12-18 Division
1. Lauren Nguyen              72
2. Summer Lee                  73
3. Tiffany Cao                    75
T4. Jenna Madden            76
T4. Kaylee Vesely             76

Boys 14 & Under Division
1. Andrew Petruzzelli        69
T2. Daniel Macias             72
T2. Trenton Mierl               72
T2. Grant Yerger               72
T5. Jonathan Kim              73

Leaders: Delarosa made five birdies and an eagle in his opening round, which was the best score of the day on Saturday. He started with a bogey on the par-4 10th, his first hole, but then bounced back with a birdie on 12 and an eagle on the 501-yard 13th. He added four more birdies after that to lead by one stroke in the division. Nguyen started with a double-bogey on the first hole but made birdie on the par-4 second, the par-5 eighth and finished with a birdie on the 18th. Petruzzelli went out in 36 strokes with a birdie on Nos. 4 and 8 and a double-bogey on the tough seventh. He started his back nine with back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 and added another on 13 and finished with a birdie on 18.

In Contention: Matthew Spaulding of Spring and Shaheen Momin of Sugar Land are tied for second in the Boys 15-18 Division at 5-under 67, while Shoichiro Kato of Austin and Garrett Townsend of Pottsboro are tied for fourth t 4-under. Four more players in the division are tied for sixth at 3-under and the division saw 14 players shoot under-par rounds on Saturday. Plano’s Summer Lee trails Nguyen in the Girls 12-18 Division by one stroke heading into Sunday. Tiffany Cao of Midlothian sits in third place, while McKinney’s Jenna Madden and Austin’s Kaylee Vesely, who is the defending champion, are tied for fourth at 4-over. Austin’s Trenton Mierl and Daniel Macias are tied with Driftwood’s Grant Yerger for second in the Boys 14 & Under Division. All three players shot even-par in the first round.

Tournament Format: The North Texas Classic is a 36-hole stroke play event for golfers ages 12-18 that have an active membership with the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The event is split into three divisions: Boy 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under. Players earned their way into the field by playing in Alliance Partner Events and attaining status with the Legends Junior Tour.

Weather: It was another hot day in North Texas with temperatures starting in the 80s and then creeping up into the high 90s in the afternoon. The sun was shining all day on Tangle Ridge Golf Course and the winds were ranging between five to 10 miles per hour throughout the day.

Tournament History: This is the fifth year of the North Texas Classic and the fourth year that Tangle Ridge Golf Course has hosted the event. In 2015 the Legends Junior Tour added the event to the fall schedule to better accommodate the growing demand for more events for junior golfers. The event has seen signups grow each year and the North Texas Classic has quickly become one of the top-ranked Open Events on the LJT schedule.

Next Up: The final round of the North Texas Classic is scheduled for an 8:00 am start on Sunday with players going off the No. 1 and 10 tees throughout the morning. Once all the scores are in, awards will be handed out to the top five finishers in the Boys 15-18 Division and the top three finishers in the Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under Divisions.

What’s at Stake: Along with an LJT victory, players are also jockeying for position to earn valuable Player of the Year points as well as exemptions into future LJT Invitational and Major events and AJGA PBE Stars. The Player of the Year Standings are used to determine player of the year along with entry into the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational and set the teams for the Jackie Burke Cup matches later this year.

For more information on the North Texas Classic, click here. To see all the scores from the first round, click here.