NAGY GRABS EARLY LEAD AT CHATEAU ELAN
15-year-old Kimberly Donovan cards a 2-under-par 69 for Girls Division lead
BRASELTON, Ga. — After firing a 1-under-par 70, Corey Nagy of Charlotte, N.C., leads the Boys Division at the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan. In the Girls Division, Kimberly Donovan of Hopkinton, Mass., posted the low round of the day, a 34-35—69, to lead by two strokes over Jacqui Concolino of Orlando.
The Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, is a 36-hole stroke play event featuring 90 boys and 42 girls — ages 12-18 — from 20 states. The 12th -annual event is being staged on the par-71, 7,071-yard Chateau Course (Girls Division played at 6,069 yards) at Chateau Elan Resort. The 2005 edition of the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan features 28 Rolex Junior All-Americans, including the defending champion in the Girls Division, Mallory Hetzel. Past champions of the event and current PGA and LPGA players include Beth Bauer, Charles Howell III, Ryuji Imada, and Brittany Lincicome.
Nagy, 16, shot a consistent 1-under par round by carding one birdie on No. 3 and 17 pars.
“I hit my driver and irons really well today but nothing fell on the green,” Nagy said. “I had a lot of birdie opportunities but I just couldn't take advantage of them.”
Nagy is hoping to improve on his best AJGA finish, ninth at the 2004 Dunlop Carolina Junior.
“It's a tough course so pars are hard to come by,” Nagy remarked. “Tomorrow I hope to keep hitting the ball well and hopefully some of the putts will fall, turning those pars into birdies.”
Five boys are currently tied for second following matching rounds of even-par 71. Chase Carpenter of Salyersville, Ky.; Drew Weaver of High Point, N.C.; Daniel Burns of Statesville, N.C.; Hudson Swafford of Tallahassee, Fla.; and Brad Schneider of Valrico, Fla.; are all one shot off the lead entering the final round.
Donovan's 69 came as a result of a three-birdie, one-bogey round. After starting on No. 10, she parred her first 11 holes before making birdie on Nos. 3, 5 and 6, taking her to 3-under-par for the day. She made putts of five feet and six feet on Nos. 3 and 6, respectively, and chipped in for birdie on the 380-yard, par-4 5th. Her lone blemish came on the 372-yard, par-4 7th.
“I was striking the ball really well all day, so I didn't have too many long putts,” Donovan said. “This was a number I felt I could put up, I just wasn't too sure about my putting coming into today.”
After changing her putting stroke in the weeks leading up to this event, she spent and hour on the practice putting green before her round to make sure it was tournament ready. Her score today definitely boosted her confidence, Donovan said.
“I want to come out here tomorrow and just play the course and do my best, and just try and do the same thing again,” she said.
Concolino is alone in second place after a 37-34—71 performance. Rounding out the top three, three players shot 74 to pull into a tie for third place in the Girls Division: Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla.; Jennifer Cassidy of Dalton, Ga.; and Kyu Ri Ban of Duluth, Ga.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan, contact tournament headquarters at (770) 868-4200, ext. 701, or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.