PASTORE TAKES THREE SHOT LEAD AT LESSING'S AJGA CLASSIC
Kim plays to strengths, shoots low and into the lead at Rockaway Hunting Club
LAWRENCE, N.Y. — David Pastore, 17, of Greenwich, Conn., took over the lead Wednesday going into the final round of the Boys Division with a 1-under-par 69. Kyung Kim, 15, of Chandler, Ariz., has a two shot lead after carding a 3-over-par 143 to lead the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Lessing's AJGA Classic is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Rockaway Hunting Club. The tournament field consists of 75 Boys and 24 Girls, ages 12-18, from 16 states, Colombia, Mexico, South Korea and Guatemala. The par-70 course is being played at 6,333 yards for the Boys Division and 5,742 yards for the Girls Division.
Pastore, who has the lead for the first time ever at an AJGA event, was overwhelmed with excitement, but realizes he shouldn't get ahead of himself just yet.
“I don't want to jinx myself,” said Pastore. “I just want to take it one shot at a time tomorrow and just play my game.”
Relying on his putting, Pastore was able to make three quick birdies on Nos. 5, 6 and 8 to finish the front nine with a 2-under-par 33. Pastore would later add a birdie on No. 15 and ended with a two day total of 4-under-par 136. Pastore really hadn't noticed how well he was playing till one of his competitors mentioned it to him.
“No. 8 is usually a tough hole so I wanted to play it safe today and stay away from the water,” Pastore said. “After I made birdie on the hole, one of the guys in my group made the comment to me that today was really my day. From there my game just started rolling.”
Zhong Yang Fu of Bradenton, Fla., holds down second place with a 1-under-par 139. Andrew DeForest of Cottekill, N.Y., Charlie Marshall of Lake Forest, Ill., Joe Toland of White River Junction, Vt., and Alexander Hicks of Cape May Court House, N.J., are all tied for third place at 2-over-par 142.
Kim, a 2008 second-team Rolex Junior All-American, was surprised to find out she shot the low round of the day at even-par 70. Able to hit her driver well, Kim struggled to get on the greens with her irons. However, Kim was able to use her strong short game to save par on several holes. After making the turn, Kim came out confident and made her first birdie of the day on the par-4 309 yard tenth hole. Kim finished her day strong by carding a birdie on No. 18.
“After making my birdie on No. 10, I really started to feel more comfortable with my game,” Kim said. “That's my goal for the week. I just want to play my game with more confidence.”
Harin Lee of Bayside, N.Y., stands alone in second place after carding a 5-over-par 145. In third place, rounding out the Girls Division with a 7-over-par 147 is Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla.
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 Lessing's AJGA Classic will run from 7 a.m.-12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee Thursday, July 9 at Rockaway Hunting Club. For more information about the Lessing's AJGA Classic, please contact Tournament Director Greg Sanfilippo at (678) 936-0163.