SAVAGE TAKES LEAD WITH COURSE
Joh and Park share top spot in Girls Division
PATTERSON, Calif. - Matt Savage of
Scottsdale, Ariz. rallied for the lead in the Boys Division,
going 9-under-par during second-round action. Savage set a
new course record from the blue tees at Diablo Grande- The
Legends West Course as he posted a 31-32-63 Wednesday. Tiffany
Joh of San Diego and 2003 Canon Cup, West Team member, Angela
Park of Torrance, Calif., are tied for the top spot in the
Girls Division with matching two-day totals of 144.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Needham Junior at Diablo Grande is being held at the par-72 Diablo Grande - The Legends West Course and features a field of 72 boys and 27 girls from 10 states and South Korea.
Savage carded nine birdies and nine pars en route to his career-low 63, and although he hit every green in regulation, he credits his putting for his second-round success.
"I carded 27 putts today," Savage said. "I've been hitting the ball well, but I think my focus on the greens really made the difference."
Although he was made aware of the course record yesterday, Savage says he had not thought much about it before he added up his birdies.
"The course record was not my goal, but I knew I had it in me," Savage said. "I just wanted to play well and have fun, and I think that's what I did today."
Savage looks to improve on his best AJGA finish, eighth place at the 2003 Sprint Junior Golf Championship hosted by the Las Vegas Founders.
"I like where I am right now," Savage said about his position going into the final round. "I'm going to go out and play my own game tomorrow. It's going to be fun."
Savage's second-round 63 brought him 8-under-par
for the tournament and he now holds a 1-stroke lead over Brady
Sharp of Port Orchard, Wash.
Sharp, who highlighted his round with an eagle on the 547-yard, par 5, second hole, stands in second place with a two-day total of 137.
Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash., stands in third with a tournament total of 5-under-par 139 after shooting 71 Wednesday. Four California boys are tied for fourth; first-round leader Jamie Puterbaugh of Carlsbad, Danny Buell of San Carlos, Tim Cha of Chino Hills, and Will Haydon of Palo Alto, all posted two-day totals of 141.
In the Girls Division, Park closed the gap on Joh's first-round lead as she posted another even-par 72 Wednesday. Park, the 2002 Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Classic at Midland Champion, carded five birdies and five bogeys Tuesday and looks to continue her consistent play in the final round.
"Overall, I'm happy with my round," Park said. "I would like to putt better tomorrow, but I'm not going to worry about the place I get or what I shoot. I just want to play well."
Joh, who started the day with a 5-stroke advantage, posted a 77 to tie for the lead Wednesday, and says she was not expecting another round of 67.
"I wasn't trying to go low again, I just
wanted to break 75 today," commented Joh. "My putts
just weren't falling like yesterday, so I tried to hit a lot
of greens. It was a tough day, but I fought through it."
Joh hopes to better her second place finish at the 2003 AJGA Sprint Junior Golf Championship hosted by the Las Vegas Founders and looks to tag her first AJGA victory on Thursday.
"I am just going to wing it and go with the flow," Joh said about her final-round of play.
Jennie Lee of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Da-sol Chung of Seoul, South Korea fired rounds of 72 and 75, respectively, and are now tied for third with tournament totals of 146.
The final round of the AJGA Needham Junior at Diablo Grande begins Thursday with tee times starting at 7 a.m. off the first tee.
For more information on the AJGA Needham Junior at Diablo Grande, please contact tournament headquarters at (209) 892-4653.
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