JUSTIN LEONARD/DELOITTE JUNIOR TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Dallas, Texas • June 26 - 29
MITZNER, WOOLF USE TEAM CHEMISTRY TO LEAD BY ONE STROKE AT NORTHWOOD CLUB
DALLAS- Clark Mitzner of McKinney, Texas, and Travis Woolf of Fort Worth, Texas, carded a 9-under-par 62 Wednesday, tying the tournament record in second-round play to stand alone atop the leaderboard at the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship. Lila Barton of Dallas, and Tanya Wadhwa of Bradenton, Fla., increased their lead to 11 strokes, dominating the Girls Division for the second day in a row at Northwood Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship is a 54-hole team event held at the Northwood Club located in Dallas. The tournament features 30 teams of boys and six teams of girls — ages 12-18 — from 11 states. The field includes nine Rolex Junior All-Americans.
The players competed in a four-ball format Wednesday, under which each player plays his/her own ball throughout the hole. Upon completion of the hole, the team then takes the best ball of the two scores.
Both committing to Texas Christian University and rooming together, Mitzner and Woolf know each other's game and used that to take the lead in Wednesday's second round. They finished with one eagle and six birdies on the front nine, and two birdies on the back nine to give themselves a one-stroke lead in the Boys Division. Putting their strategy into play, Mitzner and Woolf fed off each other to get to the top of the leaderboard.
“Our game is complementary, one would get going then we would just start getting hot,” Mitzner and Woolf said. “We wanted to play birdie golf and just take one shot at a time.”
With the team eagling No. 14 both rounds, Mitzner and Woolf said that team chemistry is one of the main things that help them while playing.
“Playing together keeps us both calm,” Mitzner and Woolf said. “We just have a good time laughing and joking around.”
Earning second-place position were Mark Johnson of Tulsa, Okla., and Draegen Majors of Bixby, Okla., turning in a matching 62 to trail by one shot going into the final round. In third place are Cody Gribble of Dallas, and Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., carding a two-day total of 130. Jason Cohan of Wayne, Pa., and Amory Davis of Winston-Salem, N.C., sit at 131 after two rounds and are in fourth place. Josh Jones of The Colony, Texas, and Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla., are tied with Alex Moon of Dallas, and Brett Spencer of Plano, Texas, for fifth place with an overall score of 132.
Being atop the leaderboard for both rounds, Barton and Wadhwa finished second-round play with a 67-67—134. When playing, both say teamwork is the key to their game.
“(Wadhwa) would go strong on the first couple of holes, then I would pick up my game and come back strong on the next couple of holes,” Barton said.
Having won the tournament in 2005, Barton said there is no pressure at all on her or Wadhwa.
“We are good friends and the team chemistry is a good thing to have,” Barton said.
In second place are Sarah Zwartynski and Lindsay Cullen both of Allen, Texas, carding a 73-72—145. In third place, are Meghan Gockel of Dallas, and Stephanie Hwang of Heath, Texas, finishing with a score of 150.
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 an annual 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 is in 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The final round of the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship will be held Thursday, June 29 at the Northwood Club beginning at 9 a.m. For more information please contact Tournament Director Jeremy Freyman at (678) 617-9917.