POPELKA, YANG TAKE SLIM ONE-SHOT LEADS IN BOTH DIVISIONS AT WINDSTONE GOLF CLUB
Ardoin, Beindorf Sit One Back Going into Final Round at Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic
RINGGOLD, Ga. â€” Sherlyn Popelka of Reunion, Fla., took hold of the Girls Division lead at the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic Wednesday after firing two consecutive 2-under-par 68s and the lone under-par score of the second round. In the Boys Division, Yao-Chun Yang of Troy, Mich., takes a slim one-shot lead after carding a second-round 1-over-par 71.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic is being held at WindStone Golf Club. The tournament field consists of 71 boys and 27 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states and China. The Boys Division is being played at 6,484 yards and the Girls Division at 5,797 yards.
Popelka started her round in second place, but finished strong after carding four birdies, three of them during her back-nine. Popelka finds herself in a familiar position going into the final round as she finished runner-up at the AJGA Championship at Traditions in March. Looking to clinch the title, Popelka is going into the final round with a clear head.
â€śI'm excited to be in the lead, but it is not over yet,â€ť Popelka said. â€śThere is still a lot of golf to be played.â€ť
Thirty-sixth in the Polo Golf Rankings, Kyndall Ardoin of Gibsland, La., carded a 2-over-par 72 in the second round making her two-day total 137. Tied for third with 4-over-par 144s are Austin Ernst of Seneca, S.C., and Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga.
In the Boys Division, Yang felt confident after his first hole and continued his steady play throughout the day, carding mostly pars.
â€śMy iron shots went really well for me,â€ť Yang said. â€śI can hit the greens â€” just not close enough to make birdies.â€ť
Yang hopes to bring home a victory in the final round by making his short putts and hitting good tee shots, since he feels they are the most important to his game.
One shot behind Yang, Jackson Beindorf of Vero Beach, Fla., sits in second with a two-day total of 2-under-par 138. Zeyu He of Shen Zhen, China, Dykes Harbin of Augusta, Ga., and Keith Mitchell of Chattanooga, Tenn., are tied for third at even-par 140.
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 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 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 for the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic will run from 7:30 a.m. â€” 12:18 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at WindStone Golf Club. For more information please contact tournament headquarters at 706-965-2541 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.
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