Braver, Hack and McLaurin all tied tied at 6-under at Colonial
Durnan leads the Girls Division at even-par
JACKSON, Miss. — Three young men will go looking for their first AJGA win tomorrow during the final round of the Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau.
The final threesome of boys includes Sam Braver, 14, of Roswell, Ga., Jhared Hack, 15, of Heathrow, Fla., and Jordan McLaurin, 15, of Ironton, Mo., who have all posted two-day totals of 6-under-par 138 to tie for the lead. A 1-under-par 71 in the second round left Kate Durnan, 15, of Mendham, N.J., alone atop the Girls Division at even-par 144.
The Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau is a 54-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Colonial Country Club on the Jackson Course. The 84-player field boasts juniors from 22 states and Canada. The Nike Golf Junior All-Star series allows players ages 12-15 to develop their skills and earn entry into other AJGA tournaments.
Braver followed an opening round 66 with an even-par round to secure his place in the final threesome. Braver has hit 28 out of 36 greens in regulation, but attributed most of his scoring to making putts on the Jackson Course's Bermuda greens.
“I played here last year and I know a lot of the breaks now,” he said.
Hack followed a 70 with a second-round of 4-under 68 to tie the other leaders. Hack, who has hit 24 of 28 fairways this week, said he will prefer to have his competition playing alongside of him Thursday.
“I like to be playing with the final group because I feel like I can control the situation,” he said.
McLaurin's putter got hot early in the day Wednesday, and birdies on his first four holes propelled him to a 4-under-par 68. McLaurin said playing in the final group will not change his game plan.
“I know those guys are going to be knocking it by me by 20 yards, so I've just got to play my game,” he said.
Kevin Kring, 15, of Springfield, Mo., is three strokes behind the leaders after shooting a 1-under-par 71 on Wednesday. Tied in fifth with totals of 143 are Farrell Diliberto, 15, of Metairie, La., Eric Lodge,15, of Houston, Texas, and Daniel Webb, 15, of Tyler, Texas.
Durnan made four birdies on the back nine, which she played first, on her way to a 4-under-par 32. After her round, Durnan said she had one part of her game to thank for her even-par total.
“I've just been putting really, really well,” said Durnan, who is seeking her first AJGA win.
Chasing Durnan will be Whitney Wenglasz, 14, of Oldmar, Fla., who sits at 2-over-par 146 for the tournament. Tied for third with two-day totals of 151 are Mary Michael Maggio, 14, of Conway, Ark., and Allie White, 15, of Lancaster, Ohio.
The AJGA 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA premier partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 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 begin Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. off of the first and tenth tees at Colonial Country Club on the Jackson Course. For more information about the Nike Golf Junior presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau, please contact tournament headquarters at (601) 956-8567 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.