RUIZ SHOOTS ANOTHER 2-UNDER-PAR 70, LEADS AFTER TWO ROUNDS
Kim continues her dominance in Girls Division at Charles Howell III Junior Championship
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jerry Ruiz of Puebla, Mexico has the lead at the Charles Howell III Junior Championship after carding a second straight 2-under-par 70, giving him a 4-under-par 140 two-round total. Anna Kim of Chandler, Ariz., shot a 1-under-par 72 and maintains her lead in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Charles Howell III Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at West Lake Country Club in Augusta, Ga. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 18 states as well as Mexico and South Africa. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 West Lake Country Club course at 6,849 yards, and the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,149 yards, par-73.
Teeing off at 11:00 a.m., Ruiz found comfort in starting late after heavy overnight rain delayed tee times by 30 minutes. He opened up his second round with back-to-back birdies.
“I'm putting better now,” Ruiz said. “The greens are tough to read but you get some good breaks [if you read them correctly].”
Ruiz took the same route Wednesday as he did in the first round, closing with a birdie on the par-5 No. 18. After two good shots into the center of the fairway, he precisely chose his 56-degree wedge to approach the green. Afterward, he was left with a two-foot tap-in putt.
Still, Ruiz believes he has more in the tank.
“I'm feeling confident. I'm relying on my putter and I'm hitting my irons good,” Ruiz said. “And I really want that head cover for the final-round low score.”
Robert Jacobsen of Racine, Wis., and Drew Czuchry of Auburn, Ga., are tied at 3-under-par 141 and sit in second place. Tied for fourth at 2-under-par 142 are Blake Soni of Bradenton, Fla., and Drew Aimone of Savannah, Ga.
In the Girls Division, Kim built on her lead with another under-par round and now has an eight-stroke lead heading into the final round at West Lake Country Club.
“My irons weren't so good today,” Kim said. “But my short game was, I made a lot of up-and-downs.”
Kim's quiet confidence comes from more than just her strong play. After earning medalist honors in the K12 Qualifier, Kim has hit her stride at this tournament.
“I pretty much know the course now,” Kim said. “I've played here seven times in the last two weeks.”
Following Kim are sisters Taylor and Ashlan Ramsey of Augusta, Ga., who are tied for second place at 2-over-par 148.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and more than 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 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.
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 350 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 for the Charles Howell III Junior Championship will run from 7:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. at West Lake Country Club. For more information, please call Tournament Headquarters at (678) 425-4976.