MOBILE-NATIVE WYATT, SURGES INTO LEAD AT AJGA JUNIOR AT STEELWOOD PRESENTED BY AT&T
Newell secures two-stroke lead in Girls Division at Steelwood Country Club
Loxley, Ala. — Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Ala., fired a second-round 4-under-par 68, Wednesday, to take a two-stroke lead over the field heading into the final round of the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T. In the Girls Division, A.J. Newell of Tampa, Fla., finished the second round with a 1-over-par 73 for a two day total of 5-over-par 149 and a two-stroke lead over the competition.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T features 78 players from 13 states and Canada. The field consists of 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 Steelwood Country Club Course at 7,001 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,043 yards.
Wyatt, a four-year veteran of the AJGA, made two birdies on the front nine and two on the back. He also managed to hit 18 greens during the day's round which is something Wyatt appreciates since dramatically changing his swing recently.
“I made a big swing change and struggled for about 18 months,” Wyatt said. “Finally my timing started to click and now I am hitting the ball straighter. I've practice everyday for about two years and it's not perfect, but it's getting better.”
After registering second and third place finishes in past AJGA events, Wyatt is not too focused on the competition going into the final round. It's his game that matters the most.
“It's always fun to compete, but you're playing a golf course,” Wyatt said. “The pressure is starting to mount because I haven't won a tournament yet.”
Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division are Brandon Park of Weston, Fla., with an even-par 144, Smylie Kaufman of Birmingham, Ala., with a two-round total of 1-over-par 145, Cyril Suk of Bradenton, Fla., with a 3-over-par 147, and Lewis Gruber from Tallahassee, Fla., with a 4-over-par 148.
In the Girls Division, 15-year-old Newell stepped into the leader position after making two birdies on the day. Her short game was on today and was evident by several putts under five feet.
“These past couple of days, I've been hitting my irons pretty well,” Newell said. “I've had a lot of birdie putts that have been within two feet.”
Going into the final round, Newell is pretty relaxed.
“I just want to have fun and come out here and enjoy the course,” she said.
Amy Ruengmateekhun of Garland, Texas, Hannah Collier of Birmingham, Ala., and Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., are all tied for second after posting two-round totals of 7-over-par 151.
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.
The final round of the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T is Thursday, June 5 with tee times running off the first and tenth tees from 8:30 a.m. to 10:18 a.m. at Steelwood Country Club. For more information about the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 617-3050.