RODGERS MOUNTS COMEBACK, TIES WYATT AT 5-UNDER-PAR AT TPC SAWGRASS
Six players under par heading into final round at The Junior PLAYERS Championship
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — The three-stroke lead Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Ala., carried into the second round of The Junior PLAYERS Championship was slowly chipped away Saturday, as Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Ind., shot a 4-under-par 68 on The PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. His stellar play led to a two-way tie at the top of the leaderboard to end the day.
In cooperation with the PGA TOUR, the American Junior Golf Association has brought 78 players, ages 12-18, from 18 states and 15 foreign countries to TPC Sawgrass for a special junior golf experience. The Junior PLAYERS Championship is mirrored after THE PLAYERS and is being played at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. The par-72 layout is set-up at 7,215 yards, the same as the PGA TOUR event that brings together the deepest tournament field in professional golf. Tournament participants were furnished with professional caddies, access to the TOUR locker room and tournament gifts that give this event a PGA TOUR-like feel.
Rodgers, playing in the group ahead of Wyatt, made the turn at 4-under-par, then swapped birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 16. After his tee shot on No. 18 landed in a divot, Rodgers' second shot landed in the mounds just short right of the green. With his chip shot landing 12 feet from the hole, he made the putt to save par and walked to the scoring area one back from Wyatt.
“Right before I hit that putt I looked up and saw that Bobby was at 6 (under) and that gave me a little incentive to make that putt,” Rodgers said. “It gave me some good momentum going into tomorrow.”
While Rodgers made par on No. 18 after landing in the mounds short right of the green, Wyatt's second shot landed in the same area. His chip shot fell a foot shy of the green, and the two-putt that followed left him with a bogey on the hole.
Wyatt carded three birdies to four bogeys during the second round Saturday, ending the round at 1-over-par 73. He credited the difference in first- and second-round play to his putting, saying he had around 35 putts on the day.
“Today was a struggle, I didn't hit it too great. I made a few putts but not nearly enough,” Wyatt said. “It's always comforting to know what I'm doing wrong, so I'm going to go to the putting green and work it out.”
With the final round set to tee off Sunday morning, Wyatt is optimistic about his game.
“I hope there's a lot of good play tomorrow, some birdies, and it'll be fun,” he said.
Behind Rodgers and Wyatt in a tie for third are Oliver Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga., and Franco Castro of Alpharetta, Ga., each with a two-day total of 3-under-par 141. Alone in fifth is Yaroslav Merkulov of Penfield, N.Y., with a 2-under-par 142.
THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the best field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. PricewaterhouseCoopers, JELD-WEN and UBS are the exclusive Proud Partners of THE PLAYERS.
Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities. Since 1977, when THE PLAYERS Championship moved to Ponte Vedra, more than $31 million has been contributed to Northeast Florida charities, including a record of $3 million donation in 2008.
About the AJGA
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 25 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, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Tee times for Sunday's final round will run from 8 — 9:48 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees of The PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. For more information regarding The Junior PLAYERS Championship, contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 601-8922.