GRAHAM HOLDS ONE-STROKE LEAD AT MIZUNO JUNIOR AT CHATEAU ELAN
Ellenbogen shoots 73 to extend lead in Girls Division
BRASELTON, Ga. â€” Wesley Graham, of Port Orange, Fla., and Courtney Ellenbogen, of Blacksburg, Va., lead the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan after severe cold weather delayed the start of Saturday's second round. The delay caused the Boys Division to be reduced to nine holes on the front side, while the Girls Division played the par-35 back nine twice to complete 18 holes.
Graham shot a 1-over-par 37 in a nine-hole round to take a two-shot lead, while Ellenbogen extended her Girls Division lead to four strokes with a 3-over-par 73.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan features 87 boys and 45 girls â€” ages 12-18 â€” from 24 states and six foreign countries. The par-71 course is set up at 7,050 yards for the Boys Division and 6,080 yards for the Girls Division.
Graham, who has recorded a top-10 finish in every AJGA event that he has entered, recorded two birdies amid near-freezing temperatures and gusty winds.
â€śEverything was pretty solid today. I made a couple of stupid mistakes. I was just trying to make pars with the way the conditions were,â€ť Graham said.
Spencer Cole, of Greer, S.C., stands alone in second place, two shots behind Graham, after carding a 1-over-par 37 for a two-day total of 109. Five players are tied for third place, three shots behind the leader, including Hojin Kang of Longwood, Fla., Brinson Paolini of Virginia Beach, Va., Joe David of Madison, Tenn., Drew Ernst of Seneca, S.C., and Byeong-hun An of Seongnam, South Korea.
In the Girls Division, Ellenbogen continued her stellar play. She got off to a quick start, recording a birdie on the 370-yard, par-4 10th hole. Ellenbogen, who finished seventh in this event last year, concluded her first nine of the day with five consecutive pars to shoot a 1-over-par 36. The Virginia native shot a 2-over-par 37 on the back nine for a second-round score of 73. Ellenbogen said that for Sunday's final round she wants to continue doing the same things that brought her success in the first two rounds.
â€śI want to get into a good rhythm and keep doing what I've been doing. I'm going to try to keep hitting the ball well and make putts,â€ť Ellenbogen said.
Sally Watson, of South Queensferry, Scotland, shot a 6-over-par 76 for a two-day total of 146 and stands four shots off the pace. Joy Kim, of Duluth, Ga., also fired a second-round 76 and is eight shots behind Ellenbogen.
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 49 states and 30 foreign countries.
Mizuno Corporation is one of the world's largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers. Mizuno manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel and footwear for international markets. Mizuno USA is based in Norcross, Ga.
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, Brittany Lincicome, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Due to an expected morning freeze, the Girls Division will have a 10 a.m. stipulated nine-hole shotgun start on the back nine, while the Boys Division will play an 18-hole round with tee times between 10 a.m. â€” 1:30 p.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information on the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan, please call tournament headquarters at (678) 425-1704.