NIKE GOLF JUNIOR AT JACKSONVILLE
Paradise Point Golf Course – Gold Course
Jacksonville, North Carolina
June 14-17, 2004
MURRAY AND JONES LEAD AFTER SECOND ROUND AT JACKSONVILLE
Three tied atop Girls Division
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Benjamin Murray of La Quinta, Calif., and Josh Jones of The Colony, Texas, vaulted to the top of the leader board and share the lead in the Boys Division of the Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville following the second round. Both players are five-under-par with matching two-round totals of 139. The Girls Division features a three-way tie between Cydney Clanton of Concord, N.C., Shannon Fish of Spring, Texas, and Jennifer Adyorough of Atlanta.
The third-annual Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville is a 54-hole stroke-play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Paradise Point Golf Course. The tournament includes 84 boy and girl junior golfers from 21 states.
The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15. The competition provides an opportunity for younger AJGA members to develop their skills and earn entry into open tournaments.
Murray entered the second round tied for sixth and emerged with a four-under-par 68, earning a spot in the last pairing for Thursday’s final round. Murray’s scorecard included six birdies and an eagle that came on the par-5 No. 11 when Murray knocked his approach to within 10 feet and sank the following putt.
“It was a good shot that kicked hard and made it onto the green,” Murray said. “It was definitely one of the highlights of my round,” the fifteen-year-old said.
Murray shares the lead with Jones, who kept himself in contention by hitting 16 greens, and making several key putts. Jones, 14, birdied Nos. 4 and 5, highlighted by an approach shot that came to within inches of going in on No. 4.
“I struck it really well today,” Jones said. “I’m going to take it one shot at a time and try to stay in the present. I believe this will put me in position to make putts and finish strong in Thursday’s final round.”
Trailing the leaders with matching 140s going into the final round is Jake An of Chantilly, Va., first-round leader Lion Kim of Lake Mary, Fla., and Joseph Barr of Versailles, Ky.
In the Girls Division, Fish carded an even-par 72. Following a birdie on No. 4, Fish bogeyed No. 5, after her ball became stuck in a tree.
“I had to take an unplayable, but was able to make bogey,” Fish said. “On No. 8, I made a 20-footer for par and a strong birdie on No. 18,” she said. “After getting the ball stuck in the tree, I was happy to recover and finish well.”
Clanton, the leader after the first round, shot a 75, securing herself a spot in the final pairing.
“I was able to hit 14 greens, but my putting was definitely the weakest,” the fourteen-year-old explained. “Whoever plays best and doesn’t think about the pressure will win tomorrow.”
Joining Fish and Clanton will be Adyorough who remained consistent, shooting a one-over-par 73. Adyorough’s round included back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6. “I’m going to play tomorrow like it’s the first day of the tournament,” Adyorough said, referring to the pressure of the final round.
In the Boys Division, Hunter Slatton of Tuscaloosa, Ala., tied Drew Weaver’s 2002 Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville low round with a 67. Slatton carded 8 birdies, including four in a row on Nos. 11 through 14.
The final round of the Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville will begin Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10.
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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville, please contact tournament headquarters at (910) 451-5445 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.