BARNSLEY TAKES LEAD AT HIWAN
Brophy, O'Toole and Tait share lead in Girls Division
EVERGREEN, Colo. - Thunderstorms and
lightening over Hiwan Golf Club lead to a weather delay that
lasted nearly four hours Thursday. Second-round play extended
into the night, as the final groups closed out their rounds
in the dark. Jesse Barnsley of Albuquerque, N.M., seemed unaffected
by the increasingly cold and windy conditions as he shot a
71 to seize the second-round lead at 143. In the Girls Division,
Ellie Brophy of Spokane, Wash., Ashley Tait of Littleton,
Colo., and Ryann O'Toole of San Clemente, Calif., currently
share the top spot at the Transamerica Junior at Denver with
matching two-day totals of 158.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Transamerica Junior at Denver is being held at the par-70 Hiwan Golf Club and features a field of 78 boys and 24 girls from 23 states.
Barnsley entered the second round in a four-way tie for third place at 2-over-par. Barnsley now holds a 2-stroke lead with a two-round total of 143.
"I was playing solid today, a lot more putts fell today than yesterday." Barnsley said. "All-around my play was good."
After finishing the front nine at even-par, Barnsley's group was forced to stop play on the 12th green and says it took him a couple holes to get his groove back.
"It was hard; I missed an 8-footer for birdie right when we resumed, and then I doubled the next hole." Barnsley said. "Luckily, I was able to get it together, and par Nos. 14 through 17 and then birdie 18."
Barnsley hopes to continue his strong play Friday as he looks to improve on his best AJGA finish, fourth at the 2003 PING/Marsico Funds Colorado Junior Roundup, and possibly earn his first AJGA victory.
"I'll try to block it out and play the same way as I did today and whatever happens, happens," Barnsley said about potentially winning his first event.
Colin Wilcox of Camarillo, Calif., matched Barnsley's second-round 71, and now sits in second place with a two-round total of 145. Wilcox is confident going into the final round and looks to challenge Barnsley's 2-stroke lead.
"I feel really good about my game right now," Wilcox said. "This is a really tough course, and I'm happy with my play out here. I can't expect anything miraculous tomorrow, I'm just looking to have fun and play my game ."
The highlight of the day came on the 186 yard, third hole when Garrett Merrell of Dallas aced it with a 7-iron.
Merrell carded a 1-over-par 71, bringing his total to 147, and is currently in third. In a three-way tie for fourth, Kyle Sullivan of Grand Junction, Colo., Walter Koelbel of Cherry Hills Village, Colo., and Blake Chrisman of Tulsa, Okla., all posted two-day totals of 148.
In the Girls Division, consistency has been the key for the leaders. With matching scores of 156, three girls look to dominate the final-round of play on Friday.
O'Toole, the first-round leader, struggled on the front-nine, carding four bogeys and one double, but answered with a five-hole par streak before posting an 80 on the day.
"I'm getting used to the greens, and I can drop a few strokes tomorrow," O'Toole said. "I want to shoot 72 tomorrow; I think that would give me a good shot at the win."
Brophy may have been the sole-leader in the Girls Division, but a triple bogey on No. 11 kept her tied for the top spot with a 78-78-156.
| "I want to keep the same game plan for tomorrow and keep the high numbers to a minimum," Brophy said. "On this course you are going to make bogeys, you just have to keep the doubles and triples out of the picture."
Tait made three birdies en route to a second-round 78, and says the fast greens kept her from going lower.
"I took a few more strokes on the greens today, but I feel good about my game," Tait said. "I just want to go out and have fun
tomorrow and try to finish strong."
Trailing the triad by only 2-strokes, Rachel Larson of Longmont, Colo., and Staci Smoot of Rochester, Minn., are currently tied for fourth with matching tournament totals of 158.
The final round of the AJGA Transamerica Junior at Denver begins Friday with tee times starting at 7 a.m. off the first tee.
For more information on the AJGA Transamerica Junior at Denver, please contact tournament headquarters at (303) 674-3366.
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