ANDREWS STAYS CONSISTENT, SHOOTS 69 TO LEAD NIKE GOLF JUNIOR AT JACKSONVILLE
Koller grinds to lead Girls Division by six
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — Bo Andrews of Raleigh, N.C., did not skip a beat, following his First-Round 69 with another 69 to go to 6-under-par 138 at the Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville. Nicole Koller of Lewisburg, Ky., shot a 75 to go to 3-over-par 147 for the tournament and leads the Girls Division going into the Final Round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville is a 54-hole stroke-play tournament that hosts a field of 82 players. The field consists of 15 girls and 67 boys with Australia, Mexico and 19 states represented.
The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 — 15 years old. The competition provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into open tournaments. The series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, Sept. 1 — 3, 2006 in Aurora, Ore.
Andrews, 15, said he hit the ball solid Wednesday carding three birdies and no bogeys.
“I hit the ball a lot closer to the hole,” Andrews said. “I made a fair amount of putts.”
Andrews shot a 33 on the front side and came in at even par on the back for his 69. However, he said a lot of the pars he made were almost like birdies.
“The hole locations were very tough on the back side,” Andrews said. “They were fair but tough. I made about four 5-footers in a row for par.”
Andrews is in good position to win his first AJGA Championship in his fourth attempt.
“It feels good,” Andrews said. “I'm looking forward to tomorrow. There are a lot of good players out there.”
Trailing Andrews by one shot is Peter Meeks of Sarasota, Fla., who shot a low-round 68 to go to 5-under-par 139 for the tournament. In third place is Hojin Kang of Longwood, Fla., at 142. In fourth place is Daniel Walker of Earlysville, Va., with 143. Tied for fifth place are, Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, Va., and Brandon Jobe of Fayetteville, N.C., with matching 144s.
Koller, 15, said she did not shoot her best, but credited her mental game that kept her on top.
“I was keeping it together out there,” Koller said. “It was tough.”
Koller is searching for her first AJGA Championship and says it feels good to be leading.
“I'm playing well,” Koller said. “I feel like I should be here.”
In second place in the Girls Division is Eugene Ahn of Chapel Hill, N.C., at 153, and in third place is Cheyenne Hickle of Gilbert, Ariz., at 155.
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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual 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 is in 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 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
Final Round tee times begin at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday at Paradise Point Golf Course-Gold Course. For more information call (910) 451-6992.