THREE TIED FOR LEAD HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND AT FLOSSMOOR
Theinthong jumps to lead in Girls Division with even-par 73
FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — Ryan Tetrault of Orange, Calif., and Brendan Leonard of Cambridge, Ontario, each fired second-round 3-over-par 75s to remain atop the leaderboard at the AJGA Floosmoor Junior Open. However, Jack Wilkes of Roanoke, Va., carded a 1-under-par 71 to join the first-day leaders with a two-day total of 1-over-par 145 going into Thursday's final round. Banchalee Theinthong of Bangkok, Thailand grabbed a one-shot lead in the Girls Division after an even-par 73.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Flossmoor Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Flossmoor Country Club. The tournament field features 74 boys and 23 girls, ages 14-18, from 14 states, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and Thailand. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,999 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the layout at par-73, 6,070 yards.
Tetrault recorded two birdies in his round, down from the three birdies and an eagle that he carded in his first round. Despite not being able to convert on as many putts as the previous day, Tetrault has himself in position to capture his first AJGA win.
“I didn't make a lot of putts I should have, especially within 10 feet,” Tetrault said. “To me, playing in the final group isn't a whole lot of pressure. I try to go at it with a carefree attitude.”
Leonard signed for 15 pars and three bogeys Wednesday. The 2009 graduate accredited his struggles in comparison to yesterday's round to his inability to hit greens, but finds himself in the final group for the first time.
“Yesterday, I hit every green and fairway,” Leonard said. “And today, until about 13, I didn't hit many good shots. I've got to play like I did yesterday and try to win.”
Wilkes opened with a front nine 2-under-par 34, highlighted by birdies at Nos. 2, 4 and 9. After bogeys at Nos. 11, 16 and 17 put him at 2-over-par for the day, he was able to birdie the par-5 18th to dip into red numbers at 1-under-par 71.
“I hit my irons pretty solid and I didn't miss a lot of greens,” Wilkes said. “That's what you have to do out here, the greens are small. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to hit as many greens as I can and give myself looks at birdie. I've been hitting the ball well all week and I want to try to continue that.”
Brett Tomfohrde of Hinsdale, Ill., sits alone in fourth place after posting the day's low round of 3-under-par 69 for a 2-over-par 146 tournament total. Jack Watson of Lincolnshire, Ill., is in fifth with a 3-over-par 147 tournament total.
Theinthong's 73 tied the low round of the tournament for the Girls Division and puts her at 6-over-par 152 for the week. She recorded one birdie and one bogey in her round, with the birdie coming at the fourth en route to a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine.
“Yesterday, I got into a lot of trouble,” Theinthong said. “I was on the fairways a lot so it was much easier to get to the hole. Tomorrow, I want to try to hit fairways again, the rough is thick.”
Ashley Armstrong of Flossmoor, Ill., is one stroke behind with a 7-over-par 153 tournament total. Alyssa Elliott of Madison, Wis., is in third at 8-over-par 154 for the tournament.
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 AJGA Flossmoor Junior Open will run Thursday from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. off the No.1 tee at Flossmoor Country Club. For more information, please contact AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (708) 798-4700.