Malagon's Doube-Eagle Helps Her Take Commanding Nine-Shot Lead in the Aaron's / Bob Estes Abilene Junior
Kennedy and Youree tied for the lead heading into the final round at the Abilene Country Club - Fairway Course
ABILENE, Texas — Alicia Malagon of Tampico, Mexico, carded a double-eagle on the par-5 No. 14 en route to a 5-under-par 67 to lead the Girls Division by nine strokes at the Aaron's / Bob Estes Abilene Junior. Cole Kennedy of Texarkana, Texas, and Jamison Youree of Fort Worth, Texas, both at 3-under-par 141, sit atop the Boy's Division leaderboard after two rounds at Abilene Country Club — Fairway Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Aaron's / Bob Estes Abilene Junior is a 54-hole stroke-play event, held at the Abilene Country Club - Fairway Course in Abilene, Texas. The 142 field features 114 boys and 28 girls from 16 states and Mexico. The boys are playing the course at 7,044 yards, and the girls are playing the course at 6,029 yards.
After an eagle in the first round on No. 14 that led to a 2-under-par 70, Malagon was just hoping she could have another one in the second round. What she found was something special.
“I hit my driver and it bounced toward the right,” Malagon said. “I was 190 yards out, hit a 4-iron, but I thought it went in the bunker. I got to the green and only saw one ball and my mom told me to check the hole. I took a look and there it was! I was really excited; I had an eagle there yesterday and a double-eagle today.”
In second place with a 2-over-par 146 is Anne Cheng of Torrance, Calif. Katie Paxton of Spring, Texas, sits in third place at 5-over-par 149.
Kennedy, who shares the lead for the first time at an AJGA event heading into the final round, bogeyed his first hole, No. 10, but made birdies on Nos. 14 and 17 and managed an even-par 72.
“I didn't strike the ball well enough to go low today, but I felt good after a birdie on No. 17 to get to 1-under-par,” Kennedy said. “I was leaving myself in good spots around the green and had easy up-and-downs. I putted really well again today.”
Youree, who shot a 1-under-par 71 in the first round, did not hit the ball great either, but managed to make up for it around the greens.
“I putted pretty well today,” Youree said. “I got the putter going early and I made a couple of long ones. Around the green I got the ball up and down really well, just like I did yesterday. I hope to continue tomorrow with my good short game, and hopefully hit the ball a little better and I should be in good shape.”
In a tie for third place at 2-under-par 142 is Kyle Pilgrim of Colleyville, Texas, and Cody Gonzalez of League City, Texas. Nick Janss of Austin, Texas, is in fifth place, two strokes behind Kennedy and Youree, at 1-under-par 143.
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 AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Final-round tee times for the Aaron's / Bob Estes Abilene Junior will run from 7:30 a.m. — 9:09 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at the Abilene Country Club - Fairway Course. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (325) 695-1800 ext. 299.