MEHL AT 4-UNDER-PAR, INCREASES LEAD TO FIVE SHOTS
Kim leads Girls Division at 5-over-par
NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Cory Mehl of Seattle carded a second-round 73 and has a five-shot lead at 4-under-par 140 after 36 holes at the Smithfield Junior Championship. Joy Kim of Pinole, Calif., leads the Girls Division at 5-over-par 149 and will enter Thursday's final round with a four-shot lead.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Smithfield Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke-play event being held at New Castle Country Club in New Castle, Pa. The 99-player field features players from 22 states and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the event at 6,587 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,029 yards.
Playing in his fifth AJGA event, Mehl made the cross-country trek not only to play in this week's event, but also to visit Washington D.C., and prospective colleges. Mehl may be 2,500 miles from home, but he said New Castle Country Club's rolling greens remind him of his home course in the Pacific Northwest.
“I'm used to small, undulating greens where speed is important in knowing how much break to play,” Mehl said. “I'm not necessarily trying to make everything because I know the greens are very tough and I'm not going to make every five or 10-footer.”
Parker Davis of Chadds Ford, Pa., Ryan Mason of Bridgeport, W. Va., and Matt Paterini of Saline, Mich., are tied for second place at 1-over-par 145. Brandon Rukin of Pepper Pike, Ohio, Ryan Vince of Charlotte, N.C., and Nicholas Austin of Midlothian, Va., are tied for fifth at 2-over-par 146.
In the Girls Division, Kim said she has hit the ball well the past two days, but her putter has held her back. She echoed Mehl's thoughts and said the greens test a player's iron play the most.
“If you hit a bad approach shot here, you're going to have a hard putt or chip,” Kim said. “I'm confident with my yardages and confident over my shots, I just need to get rid of the bad holes.”
Lindsey Solberg of Verona, Wis., sits in second place at 9-over-par 153, while Meredith Swanson of Roanoke, Va., and Christine Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich., are tied for third at 11-over-par 155.
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 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989.
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.
Thursday's final-round tee times for the Smithfield Junior Championship will run from 7:30 a.m. — 12:18 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at New Castle Country Club. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Julie Kickbusch at (770) 617-3050.