PUMPHREY FIRES 74, LEADS TOURNAMENT BY ONE STROKE
Park leads Girls Division by six strokes after two rounds
ALVATON, Ky. — Weather conditions remained ideal for golfing during the second round of the Houchens Industries Junior Open Wednesday. So-Hyun Park of Bradenton, Fla., fired a tournament-low 73, for a two-day total of 158 to lead the Girls Division. In the Boys Division, Riley Pumphrey of Georgetown, Texas, made four birdies to take a one-stroke lead, shooting 153 after two rounds.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Houchens Industries Junior Open is being held at The Club at Olde Stone. The par-72 course is set up at 7,009 yards for the Boys Division and 5,843 yards for the Girls Division. The tournament field consists of 90 boys and 30 girls, ages 12-18 from 21 states and Canada; 34 juniors are from Kentucky.
The second round of the Houchens Industries Junior Open proved that single-day low scores were not enough to hold the top spot in the tournament, as Park and Pumphrey stepped up to lead the Girls and Boys Division.
Park, 17, took 12 fewer strokes Wednesday than she did in the first round, shooting a 1-over-par 73. Having learned golf just six years ago in Korea, Park said she became serious a year later when she moved to the United States. Since then, she has continued to play for the love of the game and for the excitement. Excitement is what she experienced after shooting one over par.
“I really liked it (the course),” Park said. “It is tough. It is challenging. I do like that the fact that it is challenging, though. It feels good to be leading on such a difficult course.”
Although the level of difficulty remained high in the second round, Park played a smart game by not three-putting, for example, which reflected in her score.
“I knew the putting greens were fast, so I tried to putt carefully,” she said. “Yesterday I didn't hit many greens, but today I did. I will try to keep doing the same thing. I don't panic when I have a bad hole. Everyone is going to have one.”
Following Park in the Girls Division are Laura Anderson of Tompkinsville, Ky., who carded a two-day total of 164. Standing in third position after shooting 81 is qualifier medalist Nicole Koller of Lewisburg, Ky. whose two-day score totals 165.
In the Boys Division, Pumphrey knocked in birdies on hole Nos. 4, 10, 14 and 18, to shoot a 2-over-par 74. His goal for the round was to hit the fairways and stay away from trouble as much as possible.
“It just takes a lot of patience,” Pumphrey said. “If you hit the rough you're pitching it out. It feels good to be leading. I am going to go out there tomorrow and try to play smart.”
Similar to Park, Pumphrey made changes to his game to better suit the course and the hole locations.
“I love it (the course),” he said. “Yesterday I hit a couple shots and they rolled off the greens. I didn't realize there were false fronts. Today I compensated.”
Standing tied for second in the Boys Division are Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash., and Drew Miller of Clarksville, Tenn., who hold a 154 two-day total, after shooting scores of 80 and 78, respectively. In third place is Philip Chian of Covina, Calif., who shot a 78 for the day and 155 after two rounds. In fifth place is Nathan Sutherland of Wyomissing, Pa., who carded a 1-over-par 73, and is at 156 after two rounds.
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. 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, Candie Kung, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.
Final-round tee times will run from 7 a.m. — 1:30 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at The Club at Olde Stone. For more information on the Houchens Industries Junior Open, please call tournament headquarters at (270) 393-4653, or visit ajga.org.