PARK STREAKS AWAY FROM FIELD
ON RAINY DAY
Todd extends lead to two shots after third round
BRASELTON, Ga. - On a rain-soaked Thursday, not even
the weather could stop In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla., from taking
control of the Girls Division in the third round of the AJGA
Rolex Tournament of Champions. After shooting a 1-under-par
71, Park has a three-day total of 1-over-par 216.
In the Boys Division, Brendon Todd of Cary, N.C., blazed through The Legends to the tune of a 4-under-par 68 and vaulted ahead of the pack by two strokes.
The 72-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 169 juniors during the first two rounds, including 51 Polo Golf Junior All-Americans, ages 13-18, from 33 states and four foreign countries. The event is being held at Chateau Elan Resort on The Legends and Chateau Courses. Play took place on The Legends and Chateau Courses Tuesday and Wednesday before the field was cut to 61 boys and 21 girls. The final two rounds will be contested at The Legends on Thursday and Friday.
The AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions is the longest-running event on the AJGA schedule, now going into its 26th year. Past champions of the event include David Duval, Charles Howell III, Phil Mickelson, Beth Bauer and Grace Park.
Rain and lightning twice delayed play for a total of three hours and 32 minutes; however, Park still took control of the scoreboard by firing the only round below par in the Girls Division. Birdies at the par-5 fifth and the par-3 seventh helped her shoot a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine. One birdie and one bogey on the back nine resulted in an even-par 36.
"I feel very happy and played well," Park said. "I'll try to do my best (on Friday) and be aggressive."
Park also said she wants to shoot somewhere between even par and 2-under-par in the final round. Park leads Taylor Leon of Dallas, and Lacey Jones of Idabel, Okla. Leon and Jones are five shots behind with three-day totals of 6-over-par 221. They shot matching rounds 1-over-par 73 Thursday.
Todd, who said he was excited about moving day, used an aggressive mindset to rush away from the field, and he did the majority of his damage on the back nine. He birdied the 11th to get to 6-under-par for the tournament, then after the second rain delay, he collected birdies on the 13th and 14th holes.
"I made a bogey on the fifth hole," Todd said. "After that I said, 'Just go no bogeys the rest of the way,' and I did."
The five-birdie performance Thursday gave him a three-day total of 8-under-par 207. Todd's only blemish of the day, a bogey on the par-5 fifth, came after he launched his drive through the fairway and into a lateral water hazard. Todd made up for the mistake with birdie conversions on Nos. 4, 9 and 13 from within five feet.
Daniel Im of La Habra, Calif., also scored well on moving day. He jumped into second place and the final group on Friday after also shooting a 4-under-par 68. Im trails Todd by two shots. Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., who is in third place four shots back, will join Todd and Im in the final group.
Martin Ureta of Santiago, Chile, shot an even-par 72 and sits in fourth, six shots back of Todd. Tom Glissmeyer of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Benjamin Alvarado of Santiago, Chile, round out the top five, eight shots back of first.
Final-round tee times will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday on the first and tenth tees of The Legends and conclude at 9:27 a.m. For more information on the Rolex Tournament of Champions, call tournament headquarters at (678) 714-2560.