KIM FIRES 68, JUMPS TO TOP OF LEADERBOARD
Gannon and Schulte maintain share of first place in Girls Division
JACKSON, Miss. - Sihwan Kim of La Mirada, Calif.,
came from three shots behind the leaders to take control of
the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Classic at Colonial presented
by Mississippi Farm Bureau on Wednesday. Kim's 4-under-par
68 tied him for the low round of the tournament and left him
two shots clear of the field.
In the Girls Division, first-round co-leaders Tia Gannon of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Alexandrea Schulte of Broken Arrow, Okla., carded identical rounds for the second straight day, firing rounds of 2-over-par 74.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Classic at Colonial presented by the Mississippi Farm Bureau consists of 84 players from 26 states. The tournament is being contested at Colonial Country Club, Jackson Course, which plays to 6,578 yards for the boys and 5,790 yards for the girls.
In the Boys Division, four players started Wednesday tied for first place at 3-under-par 69. However, Kim, who shot an even-par 72 in the first round, came out firing, making birdies on four of his first six holes. Kim finished the day with eight birdies, negating four bogeys that he scattered throughout his second round.
"I tried to stay focused and just tried to hit the ball straight," Kim said after the round.
When asked how he would translate his success to the final round, Kim said continuing to practice hard and focusing on the mental side of the game would be key.
Two players trail Kim by a pair of strokes going into the final day. Robert Womble of Raleigh, N.C., matched Kim's tournament-low score of 68 to accumulate a two-day total of 2-under-par 142. First-round co-leader Paul Haley of Dallas, struggled on the front nine but pulled his round together on the back to fire a 1-over-par 73, good enough for a share of second.
Heejoo Son of Carson, Calif., also utilized a solid second nine to move up the leaderboard. Son's 1-under-par 71 moved him into sole possession of fourth place. First-round co-leader Martin Bunt of Pensacola, Fla., Scott Barton of Dallas, and Raj Nahal of Longwood, Fla., are all tied for fifth place at 2-over-par for the tournament, four shots behind Kim.
In the Girls Division, Gannon tallied three birdies on the day en-route to shooting a 74. Gannon credited her consistency as the reason for her success in the first two rounds.
"My drives were in the fairway and I made a lot of putts," Gannon said. "I'm just going to play the same way (Thursday) as I did (Wednesday)."
Schulte was also solid throughout the second round, matching Gannon by carding an even-par 36 on the front nine before shooting a 2-over-par 38 on Colonial's inward nine. Together, Gannon and Schulte have a three-shot lead going into Thursday's final round.
"Everything has been right on the dot," Schulte said. "I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing this whole week. I don't see any improvements I need to make, just keep plugging away and just hope for a good round and see what the other girls can shoot."
Ashley Lance of Franklin, Tenn., carded a 3-over-par 75 on Wednesday and trails the co-leaders by three shots.
The final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. Tee times will continue on No. 1 and No. 10 until 9:27 a.m. For more information on the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Classic at Colonial presented by the Mississippi Farm Bureau, contact AJGA tournament headquarters at (601) 956-8567.