DURBIN, BRUNEY ALONE ATOP KINGWOOD LEADERBOARD
Texas natives share two-stroke lead at Ashworth Junior Event
KINGWOOD, Texas â€” Eric Durbin of Houston and Alec Bruney of Nederland, Texas, shot matching rounds of even-par 72 to take a share of the lead at the Ashworth Junior at Kingwood. On a day when low scores were hard to come by, the two Texans were the only players to manage rounds of par or better.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ashworth Junior at Kingwood features 84 boys from 13 states and three foreign countries, including 46 players from the state of Texas. The AJGA's Ashworth Junior Series is specifically designed for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year.
Durbin, who got off to a rough start during his opening round, was able to birdie four holes on the back nine. Durbin struggled early with his putter en route to two consecutive bogeys on his first two holes. Durbin stood at 4-over-par after 10 holes, but was able to make a run and finish his round at even-par.
â€śI did not make many putts until the back nine,â€ť Durbin said. â€śThey finally started to fall on the last few holes and that made a huge difference.â€ť
Durbin finished with 29 putts for the round, and birdies on Nos. 11, 12, 15 and 17. The four birdies propelled Durbin to a 3-under- par 33 on the back nine.
Bruney, 14, was able to finish at even-par thanks to his ability to get up-and-down on the course. He carded matching 36s, and took advantage of five birdies.
â€śThis course is in good shape and I felt like I really played well,â€ť Bruney said. â€śI've been striking the ball well lately, and I continued to do the same today.â€ť
Bruney carded birdies on Nos. 1, 7, 10, 11 and 12. Bruney said he plans to continue his conservative play and hopes it will keep him atop the leader board.
Benjamin Thorseth of Richmond, Texas, Adam Wennerstrom of Austin, Brandon Marick of Northbrook, Ill., and Robert Plucienski of Slidell, La., are all tied two shots behind the leaders. The four players each finished at 2-over-par 74.
Now in its sixth year, the AJGA's Ashworth Junior Series has grown from two events in 2000 to eight events in 2005. The Series helps juniors gain experience needed to compete at the national level. Ashworth Preseason events will also take place in Braselton, Ga.; Diablo Grande, Calif.; Garland, Texas; and Fredericksburg, Va.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA, has a junior 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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
The final round will be an 8:30 a.m. shotgun at the Kingwood Country Club on Sunday, March 20.
For more information on the Ashworth Junior at Kingwood, call AJGA Tournament Director Randi Reed at (770) 601-5196.