SHIN LEADS NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS BLUEGRASS JUNIOR AT 4-UNDER-PAR 136
Kaneko and Woods tied at 5-over-par 145 to lead Girls Division at Bellefonte Country Club
ASHLAND, Ky. — Donnie Shin of Columbia, Md., carded a 1-under-par 69 Thursday to lead the Boys Division after the second round of the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior at Bellefonte Country Club with a two-day total of 4-under-par 136. Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu, and Cheyenne Woods of Phoenix, lead the Girls Division at 5-over-par 145 after the second round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior is being held at Bellefonte Country Club. The tournament field consists of 90 boys and 30 girls from 20 states and Mexico. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,049 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 5,652 yards.
Shin, who finished fifth last week at the SAP Junior Open in Avon, Ohio, feels he could be chipping better, but is happy with his overall game. The co-leader coming into the second round, Shin said he wanted to keep his ball out of the trees, but said he wasn't afraid to hit his driver.
“I hit the ball a lot better than yesterday, and I was able to hit just about every fairway,” Shin said. “There were only three holes that I didn't use my driver. I feel really good with it.”
Jordan Janico of Duluth, Ga., sits one back of Shin after recording a two-day total of 3-under-par 137. Boris Stantchev of Long Beach, Calif., is in third place with a two-day total of 2-under-par 138. Seth Blann of Bowling Green, Ky., is three shots off the lead in fourth place at 1-under-par 139. Tyler Duncan of Columbus, Ind., is in fifth place at even-par 140.
In the Girls Division, Kaneko was able to rebound from two early bogeys to card a 1-over-par 71 Thursday. She feels comfortable and wants to be aggressive and attack the course during Friday's final round. She believes all she needs to do is hit it straight and avoid trouble.
“It's very important to hit good tee shots and hit the greens,” Kaneko said. “Then you just have to make good putts.”
Woods fired an even-par 70 in Thursday's second round after a 5-over-par 75 Wednesday. She believed she was able find the right spots to land the ball and wants to be aggressive Friday.
“Yesterday I didn't have any birdies, today I had five,” Woods said. “That's five strokes better right there and that's a big difference.”
Mitsuki Katahira of Wheaton, Ill., is in third place, posting a 36-hole total of 8-over-par 148.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Final-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee Friday at Bellefonte Country Club. For more information about the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior, please contact tournament headquarters at (606) 326-1744 or (606) 326-1741.