Gonzalez takes the lead at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley
Salazar remains ahead in the Girls Division by one stroke
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Juan Gonzalez III of McAllen, Texas, moved ahead in the Boys Division by carding a two-day total of 1-under-par 143 at the AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers. Lauren Salazar of Santa Clara, Calif., remains atop the leaderboard with a 3-over-par 147 after the second round.
The AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers is a 54-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at the Valley Course of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham, Ala. The event features 51 boys and 20 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and South Korea. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,922 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 5,982 yards.
Gonzalez found consistency in his short game and made four birdies on the day including a strong finish on the par-4 No. 18.
“My short game was on and I got up-and-down a lot,” Gonzalez said. “I ended up with a birdie on No 18 when I hit a perfect drive down the middle. I went with a 9-iron, stuck it to about a foot, and I sunk the birdie putt to finish one under for the day.”
Tyler Shope of Wilsonville, Ala., is in second with an even-par 144. Tied for third place are Hunter Arnold of Lenoir City, Tenn., Will Cannon of Hoover, Ala., Robby Prater of Birmingham, Ala., and Zack Jaworski of Alpharetta, Ga., all carding 3-over-par 147 through the second round.
Salazar continues to lead the Girls Division with a 1-over-par 73 in the second round. She birdied four holes and contributes her strong round to her iron play.
“I definitely played better today and the birdies saved me,” Salazar said. “Overall my iron play was the best; I set myself up for a lot of opportunities and definitely took advantage of them.”
Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell, Ga., is in second place with a 4-over-par 148 and Janie Jackson of Huntsville, Ala., sits in third with 6-over-par 150.
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 more than 40 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, 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 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
The final round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun Thursday. For more information on the AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 294-6051 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.