WATTS 8-UNDER-PAR AT BIRKS & MAYORS JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP AT MIRASOL
Barber, Dorward on top in Boys Division through second round at 7-under-par
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — After firing a 5-under-par 67, for a two-day total of 136, Andrea Watts of Bradenton, Fla., moved into the lead of the Girls Division at the Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol Thursday. Justin Dorward of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Blayne Barber of Lake City, Fla., both carded second-round totals of 137 to share the lead in the Boys Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol is a 54-hole stroke play event held on the Sunset Course at The Country Club at Mirasol. The 84-player field features players from seven states, the Cayman Islands, Japan, Poland and South Korea. The Girls Division is playing the Sunset Course at 6,048 yards, while the Boys Division is playing it at 6,873 yards.
Watts, who shot 69 Wednesday, carded four birdies on the front nine en route to a bogey-free round.
“My last two birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 were exciting for me,” she said. “They barely rolled in. It was one of those heart-pounding moments, memorable beyond reach.”
She credited her success to solid drives, consistent putts and a calmer outlook on the day.
“I think I was too aggressive yesterday after the rain delay,” Watts said. “Today I was more conservative. I worked on being patient and it payed off.”
One stroke behind Watts, in second place, is defending champion and first-round leader Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla. Hurst, who shot 66 in the first round, carded a 1-under-par 71in the second round for a total of 137. In third place in the Girls Division is Elizabeth Alger of Tequesta, Fla., who shot 1-over-par 73 for a two-day total of 141.
Sharing the top spot in the Boys Division, Dorward and Barber currently hold a slim, one-stroke lead heading into the final round.
Dorward followed his first-round score of 67 with another strong showing, posting a score of 2-under-par 70 for the day. Going into the final round Dorward said he was surprised at how well he was performing.
“I never expected to be tied for first,” Dorward said. “Hopefully tomorrow I can just play a solid round and make a few birdies.”
Barber, in his second AJGA tournament appearance, noted recent changes in his practice schedule as his keys to success.
“I haven't been playing as well the past four of five months,” Barber said. “But I really have worked hard the past month or so and it's nice to see the hard work paying off.”
Behind Dorward and Barber in the Boys Division are Andrew Colvin of Longwood, Fla., who shot a 2-under-par 70 for a two-day total of 138, and Zhong Yang Fu of Bradenton, Fla., who carded an even-par 72 for a total of 139.
Rounding out the Boys Division after posting two-day totals of 3-under-par 141 in a four-way tie for fifth are Johnny DelPrete of Palm City, Fla., Connor Arendell of Cape Coral, Fla., Joseph Byun of Lake Mary, Fla., and Devin Patel of Celebration, Fla.
DelPrete also carded a rare albatross, firing a 2 on the 530-yard, par-5 No. 9.
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 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
Birks & Mayors operates 67 luxury jewelry stores across Canada, Florida and Georgia. The company posted annual sales of $274.3 million in 2006 and employs more than 1,100 employees in Canada and the United States. The company operates 38 stores (Birks brand) across most major metropolitan markets in Canada and 29 stores (Mayors brand) across Florida and Georgia. Birks & Mayors also designs and manufactures fine jewelry, timepieces, sterling and plated silverware and gifts under the Birks brand, which is currently sold through Birks & Mayors retail channels.
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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 foreign countries.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Final round tee times will run from 7:30 a.m. — 9:27 a.m. off the No. 1 and 10 tees Friday. For more information on the Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol, please contact tournament headquarters at (561) 776-4949, ext. 216.