Titsworth extends lead atop leaderboard at Cleveland Junior Open
Henderson, Liu will go to the wire in Thursday's final action at Red Tail Golf Club
Avon, Ohio — For the second consecutive day, local-product Beau Titsworth of Avon Lake, Ohio, leads the Boys Division at the Cleveland Junior Open after firing a 2-under-par 70 on Wednesday. In the Girls Division, first-round leader Mika Liu of Bradenton, Fla., and Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario, share the lead as they currently sit at 1-under-par 143.
The Cleveland Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Red Tail Golf Club in Avon, Ohio. The tournament field includes 69 boys and 27 girls, ages 12-18 from 15 states, Canada and Thailand. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,937 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 6,072 yards.
Titsworth will look to go wire-to-wire in Thursday's final round as he currently maintains a 10-stroke lead over second place, Will Seger of Jasper, Ind.. Titsworth, who sits at 10-under-par 134, missed just one fairway in the second round while attempting only 29 putts.
“My putting was one thing that has improved lately,” Titsworth said. “Along with my three birdies, I made a 50-foot putt on No. 17 for par which was a life saver.”
Wednesday's windy conditions didn't make the already challenging course any easier for its competitors, but Titsworth stuck to the basics as he continued his first-round success at his hometown course.
“In order for me to win I just need to come out tomorrow and play like I did yesterday, not today,” Titsworth said. “I didn't try to push today as much as I would have liked to, but being under par in today's windy conditions is a good accomplishment.”
Seger, currently at even-par 144, is in second place after shooting a second round 2-over-par 74. PJ Collier of Houston, Texas, is in third place after carding a 4-over-par 76 in Wednesday's second round. Jake McBride of Hartville, Ohio, trails by 13-strokes in fourth place at 3-over-par 147. Tied for fifth place at 4-over-par 148 are Tom Nettles of McMurray, Pa., Evan Russell of Isle LaMotte, Vt., and Alex Andrews of Kirtland, Ohio.
In the Girls Division, Liu maintains a portion of the lead after finishing the second-round at even-par 72 as she is now tied with Henderson who entered the day in third place trailing by two strokes.
Liu, in just her third AJGA event, understands that she can be proud of how well she is doing, but knows that tomorrow is a new day and anything can happen.
“Being in the lead brings me happiness, but at the same time it brings a lot of pressure,” Liu said. “I have to make sure I'm not too happy with my performance so far since the event is not over and I haven't won anything yet.”
Sharing the lead for the first time in her AJGA career is Henderson who posted a 2-under-par 70, which was good enough to draw herself even with Liu.
“It feels great to own a share of the lead,” Henderson said. “I've never been in the final group or in the lead of an AJGA event, it feels pretty awesome.”
Sitting in third place, three-strokes off the lead, is Jessica Porvasnik of Hinckley, Ohio, who is currently at 2-over-par 146. Jennifer Peng of San Diego, Calif., and Jacqueline Chulya of Bangkok, Thailand, are currently in fourth place at 5-over-par 149.
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 more than 40 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, 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 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
Final-round tee times for the Cleveland Junior Open will run from 7 a.m. — 12:10 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at Red Tail Golf Club. For more information about the Cleveland Junior Open, contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 601-8922.