Cooley, Kelly and O'Leary Co-Lead heading into Final Round of CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior
Kan's second-round 69 gives her a six-shot lead after 36 holes at White Manor Country Club
MALVERN, Pa. — Ben Cooley of Rydal, Pa., Sean Kelly of Staten Island, N.Y., and Patrick O'Leary of Milton, Mass., share the lead in the Boys Division after two rounds at 5-over-par 147. Aurora Kan of Boothwyn, Pa., carded a 2-under-par 69 in the second round to grab a six-shot lead in the Girls Division at 2-under-par 140.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior is being held at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, Pa. The field features 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 16 states. The par-71 course is playing at 6,948 yards for the Boys Division and 6,110 yards for the Girls Division.
Cooley righted the ship after bogeying two of his first three holes.
“I started off with bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3, but went on to birdie Nos. 5, 6, and 7 after that to get it back,” Cooley explained. “After that I just wanted to make pars and I was able to play pretty steady the rest of the way.”
Kelly, the first-round leader, has stuck with the same game plan all week and plans to do the same in the final round.
“I just wanted to play like I did yesterday and keep swinging smooth,” Kelly said. “I got a little loose on some swings on the back nine, but I'll make some small adjustments and I'm feeling good heading into tomorrow.”
O'Leary's consistent play led to a round of 2-over-par 73.
“I was putting the ball in the fairway all day and hitting iron shots close to the hole,” O'Leary stated. “There were a lot of tough hole locations, but I was able to make a few putts.”
Vincent Martino of Southlake, Texas, is alone in fourth at 6-over-par 148. Gary Buffington, III of Tampa, Fla., Chris Houston of Gilford, N.H., and Michael Davis of Newtown Square, Pa., are tied for fifth at 7-over-par 149.
Kan stayed focused and placed the ball where she wanted throughout the round.
“I have some experience on this course,” Kan said. “I know where to put the ball and I was able to do so because my overall game was pretty good today.”
Samantha Wagner of Clermont, Fla., is in second at 4-over-par 146 after a second consecutive 2-over-par 73. First-round leader Christina Ocampo of Delray Beach, Fla., is alone in third at 9-over par 151.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Thursday's final-round tee times for the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior will run from 7:30 — 9:30 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tee at White Manor Country Club. For more information, please call Tournament Director Lindsay Koth at (678) 617-2417.