Beck Stays Steady, Tanco Slingshots Up Leaderboard to Share Lead at ANNIKA Invitational
Leaders six shots ahead of field at Reunion Resort
REUNION, Fla. β Laetitia Beck of Caesarea, Israel, and Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., share the second-round lead of the ANNIKA Invitational after their impressive play Sunday. Beck, who led after the first round, shot 1-under-par, while Tanco fired a 6-under-par 66 to jump from a tie for fourth to a tie for the lead at Reunion Resort.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ANNIKA Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event being played at Reunion Resort, home of the ANNIKA Academy. The girls-only field is playing the par-72 Independence (Watson) Course at 6,420 yards. The 72-player field features 21 Rolex Junior All-Americans and players from 14 states and eight foreign countries.
Beck, who was victorious at The Verizon Junior Heritage last week, began the day with a birdie on the first hole. She would trade birdie for bogey twice throughout the round to end the day with a two-day total of 5-under-par 139.
βMy iron shots were really good today,β Beck said. βI played a really solid round throughout the day.β
Beck said she won't think too much about tomorrow, but will try to remain consistent with her irons and putting.
Tanco, a two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year, was in fourth when the day began. After a 1-over-par showing in the first round, she carded five birdies to only one bogey on the front nine. Making the turn, she had a two-stroke deficit, but steady play on the back nine would prove to be key. After seven straight pars, Tanco birdied Nos. 17 and 18 to clinch a share of the lead.
βI only missed one green today, and got it close to the pin a lot,β Tanco said. βTo win this tournament would mean a lot to me, knowing that Annika is here and knowing what all she does for us and for junior golf, so I just want to play the same tomorrow.β
In a three-way tie for third is Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif., and Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif., each with a two-day total of 1-over-par 145. Alone in sixth is defending champion Simin Feng of Orlando, Fla., with a 2-over-par 146.
The event is owned and operated by the ANNIKA Foundation, which teaches children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offers aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. A primary focus for the ANNIKA Foundation is to identify the greatest needs and opportunities to make an impact by developing sports and physical fitness programs for kids. A key focus is to provide resources that increase participation and access where it is not currently available or affordable, and promote awareness for the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle.
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 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 8-9:39 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Monday, February 15, at Reunion Resort's Independence (Watson) Course. For more information about the ANNIKA Invitational, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 227-8490.