Castillo, Tuulik share lead heading into final round of ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior
Amy Lee remains atop Girls Division with three-stroke lead
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Derek Castillo of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Christopher Tuulik of San Diego, Calif., matched each other once again with second-round scores of 1-under-par 71. Amy Lee of Brea, Calif., was able to maintain her lead after carding a second-round 1-over-par 73.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior is a 54-hole stroke play competition being played on the par-72, Mission Hills Country Club - Dinah Shore Tournament Course. The event features 48 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 6 states and 4 countries. The Boys Division is playing the course at 7,080 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,177 yards.
With first round scores of 4-under-par 68, Castillo and Tuulik head into the final round of the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior with a one stroke lead. Both now sit at 5-under-par 139 after the first two rounds. Tuulik was happy with his second-round play, and attributed his maintained share of the lead to some strong iron-play in his game on Wednesday.
“My irons were definitely really on today,” Tuulik said. “I was hitting everything where I wanted to hit it, unlike yesterday. But the difference was in the putting; I wasn't able to make as many 10-footers for birdie or par as I was yesterday.”
The symmetry between Tuulik and Castillo was not only in first and second round scores, but also in the way they posted those scores. Castillo also found his mid-range game on Wednesday, but struggled with his rhythm on the greens.
“I hit the ball a lot better today,” said Castillo. “I was hitting well yesterday, but it was pretty much dead on today.”
Castillo also commented on his difficulties in the differences he experienced with the greens Wednesday.
“I made a lot more long putts yesterday,” Castillo said. “The greens looked the same today, they were just a little slower, and I just could not get used to that. I was leaving a bunch of putts a couple inches short today.”
Jonah Texeira of Sun Valley, Calif., and Ben Doyle of La Jolla, Calif., stand tied for third at 4-under-par 140.
Will Strauss of San Diego, Calif. and Li Wang of Sammamish, Wash. are locked in a tie for 5th at 2-under-par 142.
Amy Lee of Brea, Calif., carded a second-round 1-over-par 73 to put her two-day total at 4-under-par 140. Lee still hangs on to her lead with a margin of three strokes, but was not satisfied with her overall play on Wednesday.
“Everything was just a little worse today,” Lee said. “I wasn't hitting anything as close to the pins today. I hit a lot of good putts, and yesterday everything was dropping, but not today.”
Hannah O'Sullivan of Cupertino, Calif., stands alone in second place at 1-under-par 143.
Raychelle Santos of La Quinta, Calif., Yang Yue Hill of Palm Desert, Calif. and Mackenzie Raim of Palm Desert, Calif. are tied for third at even-par 144.
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 AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,500 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, 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.
Final-round tee times will run from 6:30 — 8:20 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Mission Hills Country Club - Dinah Shore Tournament Course. For more information about the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior, please contact Tournament Headquarters at 678-617-2424.