ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Dalhousie Golf Club
Cape Girardeau, Mo. • June 30 - July 4
GOOCH JUMPS INTO LEAD AFTER SECOND ROUND AT ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Talor Gooch of Midwest City, Okla., came out blazing in the second round at the Rolex Tournament of Champions Thursday, finishing with a two-day score of 7-under-par 137. Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., holds onto her lead in the Girls Division at 6-under-par 138, with the competition in hot pursuit.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rolex Tournament of Champions is a 72-hole stroke play event being held at Dalhousie Golf Club. The 144-player field features players from 30 states and six foreign countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 Dalhousie Golf Club at 7,282 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,304 yards. This year marks the 32nd edition of the AJGA's flagship tournament. Past champions of this event include David Duval, Charles Howell III, Jamie Lovemark, Phil Mickelson, Leta Lindley, Grace Park, In-Bee Park and Morgan Pressel.
Gooch started the day on the tenth hole, one stroke off the lead, but a solid 3-under-par 33 on his opening nine pushed him into the second-round leader position. He shot a 3-under-par 69 to lead by two going into Friday's third round.
“I had a couple slip-ups and could have let the round get away from me, but I stayed confident and patient and kept it going.” Gooch said. “On No. 9 (his final hole), I was about 170 yards in and knocked it to three feet to make a birdie and finish strong. I had just doubled No. 7, so it was a really good way to finish. If I hit more fairways and greens tomorrow and get more putts to drop, I think I'll be in a good position to win.”
Two strokes behind Gooch at 5-under-par 139 is Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y. T.J. Vogel of Cooper City, Fla., sits in third place at 4-under-par 140. In a three-way tie for fourth place are Johnathan Schnitzer of Houston, Blake Biddle of St. Charles, Ill., and Yaroslav Merkulov of Penfield. N.Y., at 3-under-par 141.
Tanco came into the day with a three-stroke lead and played steady to card an even-par 72. She holds a one-stroke lead at the tournament's midpoint.
“I thought I hit really good shots to the pins today,” Tanco said. “I played really well both days, but I made more putts yesterday. I'm going to practice my putting so I can make more tomorrow.”
Sitting one stroke back of Tanco in second place is Nicole Zhang of Calgary, Alberta, at 5-under-par 139. Rounding out the top-three in the Girls Division is Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., at 3-under-par 141.
Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. Along with sponsoring the Rolex Tournament of Champions, Rolex is also the title partner of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the proprietors of the Rolex Junior All-America Teams.
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 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
Third-round tee times will run from 7 — 8:48 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information please contact Tournament Headquarters at 770-601-8922.
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