Bunker, Schneider looking to improve at AJGA tourney

It was a near perfect day for golf, as well as the course conditions, Tuesday in the opening round of the AJGA Circle K Junior Championship Hosted By Otter Creek.

For two locals, they hope to have a better next two days if they want to stay in contention.

On the girls side, Edinburgh resident and incoming Columbus North freshman Ava Bunker finished with 1-over-par 73 to put herself in a tie for fourth place. Lindsay McGrath of Ontario, Canada, and Michelle Woo of Fremont, California, share the girls lead at 2-under 70.

Bunker was consistent through most of her round. She had an early bogey at No. 2, but bounced back with a birdie on No. 3. The only other blemish on her scorecard was a bogey on No. 17.

Bunker felt OK with her round.

“I had one bogey that I wished I could have made up with the putt, but otherwise, my putting was good” Bunker said. “I was pin seeking today, and my drives are going good, which I was really happy about.”

On the boys side, recent North graduate Luke Schneider carded a 7-over 79 to put himself in a tie for 40th overall. Gavin Clutts of Hazard, Kentucky; Seth Smith of Campbellsville, Kentucky; and Leo Wessel of Indianapolis share the lead at 2-under 70.

It was an up and down day for Schneider. He carded two double-bogeys on the back nine, but finished on a good note with a birdie on No. 18.

“Those (double-bogeys) cost me. I only made one birdie all day. It was a struggle out there,” Schneider said. “I lipped out a lot of putts.”

Despite his round Tuesday, Schneider is optimistic he’ll bounce back the next two days.

“The pins were tucked, and that’s a big factor. There was no flag at an easy location. I think this was as hard as it’s going to be,” Schneider said. “Hopefully, it’ll get a little easier, and the flag will be a little more accessible. I probably went too aggressive a couple times today, and it cost me. I’ll clean those up and we’ll see what we can do.”

Bunker also will hope to improve her score today and Thursday.

“I’d like to see a couple more putts drop,” Bunker said. “They were right on the edge. It would either just stop short or just right on the edge of the back of the cup, so I hope to see some more putts drop.”