JONES MOVES TO 6-UNDER TO LEAD AFTER TWO ROUNDS AT BAY HILL
Forty-five golfers make two-day cut of 8-over-par
ORLANDO — Josh Jones, 15, of The Colony, Texas, took the lead at the HP Boys Junior Championship Wednesday after a 5-under-par 67 put him two shots clear of the field. Playing alongside Jones in the final pairing of Thursday's third round will be first-round leader Kyle Stanley, 17, of Gig Harbor, Wash., who is alone in second at 4-under-par 140 for the tournament.
The HP Boys Junior Championship is a 72-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, home of the PGA TOUR's Bay Hill Invitational. The par-72 layout is being played at 7,189 yards. Past Champions of the event include Tiger Woods (1992), David Duval (1989) and Jim Furyk (1987). The event, which features of 90 of the nation's premier junior boys, includes participants from 22 states, Chile, Colombia and Japan.
After two rounds, the field was cut to the top-40 players and ties, with the cut falling at 8-over-par 152.
Jones made six birdies during his round, including dropping a putt from 30 feet on No. 8.
“I just played for the middle of the greens more today and relied on my putting,” Jones said.
Jones, who hit 13 greens-in-regulation during his round, said his plan to hit more conservative approach shots was something he came up with after his practice round this week.
“I didn't expect to be here after two days,” Jones said. “But now that I am, let's go.”
Jones is playing in his first AJGA Invitational event, as he earned entry by finishing second at the AJGA Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior in Ashland, Ky., earlier this season.
Stanley played a bogey-free round of 1-over-par 73 Wednesday, with his only blemish being a double-bogey on No. 11.
“I hit quite a few greens out there today but I just couldn't gather any momentum,” Stanley said.
Stanley made only one birdie on his round after making seven during his first-round 67.
“I've been really aggressive all week and for the most part it's paid off,” Stanley said.
Dan Rush of Avon Lake, Ohio, shot a 4-under-par 68 to join a host of players tied for third at 1-under-par 143 for the tournament. Included in the group are Jason Kang of Valencia, Calif., Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., and Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla.
Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., Samuel Saunders of Windermere, Fla., and Arnond Vongvanij of Bradenton, Fla., are tied for seventh place with two-day totals of 1-over-par 145.
In a four-way tie for 10th place at 2-over-par 146 for the tournament are Nick Geyger of Santiago, Chile, Mu Hu of Shen Zhen, China, Ryan Thomas of Alameda, Calif., and Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla.
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 AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
The third round of the HP Boys Junior Championship will begin at 7:00 a.m. Thursday at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club and Lodge off of No. 1 tee. For more information about the HP Boys Junior Championship call tournament headquarters at (407) 876-8095.