Ihm Takes Lead Into Final Round at AJGA Nebraska Junior at Quarry Oaks
Lee Holds Lead After Two Rounds in Girls Division at Quarry Oaks
ASHLAND, Neb. — Steven Ihm of Dubuque, Iowa, fired a 5-under-par 66 to take the lead after the second round at the AJGA Nebraska Junior at Quarry Oaks. Somin Lee of Denver will lead the Girls Division again into the final round after carding a 1-under-par 70.
The AJGA Nebraska Junior at Quarry Oaks is a 54-hole stroke play tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Quarry Oaks in Ashland, Neb. The tournament field consists of 77 boys and girls ages 12-18 from 18 states and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 course at 6,813 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 6,045 yards.
Ihm described his game as “solid and consistent,” tallying six birdies throughout Wednesday's round to finish with a two-day total at 7-under-par 135. New to the Quarry Oaks golf course, Ihm said he played his first round safe to avoid rough spots and find opportunities.
“Today I really got to know the course,” Ihm said. “I took a couple more risks and went at holes to give myself better openings to make birdies.”
Just one stroke short of Ihm is Quinlan Quinn Prchal of Glenview, Ill., posting a 4-under-par 67 in the second round for a 136 two-day total. Tied for third are Ben Heisey of Orange, Calif., and Lorens Chan of Honolulu, at 3-under-par 138. Three strokes back are Alex Thode of Washington, Iowa, Cameron Harrell of Colorado Springs, Colo., and David Gazzolo of Riverside, Calif., each recording an even-par 71 in the second round.
In the Girls Division, Lee increased her lead to five strokes, which she credited to her irons. Although Lee recorded back-to-back 70s in the first two rounds, she said her game improved, especially after four birdies on the first five holes, starting on No. 10.
“On the back nine I had a few putts for birdie that I just couldn't drop,” Lee said. “I had all pars on the back nine until the last hole where a putt saved me for bogey.”
Lee said her goal for the tournament was to place in one of the top three spots, since her highest AJGA event-finish was placing fourth at the Elbit Systems of America Junior Championship in June. She hopes her putting and tee shots improve in the final round to win at Quarry Oaks.
“After the first few holes all I thought was, ‘I'm going to have a good day,'” Lee said. “I've played well the first two days, I hope I can continue to win the tournament.”
Following Lee by five strokes is Christina Cantu of Houston to place second at 3-over-par 145, while Beth Wagner of Ankeny, Iowa sits in third place at 6-over-par 148.
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.
The final round tee times will run from 7 — 8:48 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Quarry Oaks. For more information about the AJGA Nebraska Junior at Quarry Oaks contact tournament headquarters at (770) 601-8922.