FU MOVES INTO LEAD WITH ONE ROUND TO GO AT NEW CASTLE COUNTRY CLUB
Vongphoumy, Wang and Allen tied for 2-stroke lead in Girls Division
NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Starting Wednesday's second round two strokes behind the leader was no obstacle as Zhong Yang Fu of Bradenton, Fla., fired a 3-under-par 69 to take over the Boys Division lead. Juliet Vongphoumy, Mayko Chwen Wang and Kendall Allen are all tied for the Girls Division lead at 13-over-par 157.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at New Castle is a 54-hole stroke play event held at New Castle Country Club. The 98-player field features players from 19 states and Canada, South Korea and Taiwan. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 New Castle Country Club at 6,615 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 5,960 yards.
Fu may have missed a few three-foot putts, but his long game helped him hit 14 greens in regulation. Fu's approach shots are what really helped him break away from the pack and he carded three consecutive birdies on the back starting on No. 11.
“My irons were awesome and I hit most of them pretty close to the holes, which left me with short putts,” Fu said. “I hit some drives to within 30 yards to some greens but made no birdies there, since this is not a long course, you need to chip and putt all day long.”
Currently standing in second is Connor Tendall of North Potomac, Md., who carded Wednesday's low round at 4-under-par 68 to bring his two-day total to even-par 144. Denny McCarthy of Burtonsville, Md., is in third at 1-over-par 145 with a second-round score of even-par 72. In a tie for fourth are Grant Weaver of Wooster, Ohio, who had back-to-back 73s in his first two rounds, and Patrick Leisure of Charlottesville, Va., who shot a second round score of 4-over-par 76, giving them second-round totals of 2-over-par 146.
Vongphoumy, of Providence, R.I., had a birdie on the first hole to card a 4-over-par 76 in her second round.
“My irons were consistent and from there I just tried to two-putt everything,” Vongphoumy said. “After yesterday's round I practiced my game from 50 yards and in but tomorrow I'm just going to play my game and not think too much.”
Coming all the way from Taipei, Taiwan, Wang had two birdies on Nos. 3 and 7 but struggled on the back-nine with two bogeys and a double-bogey to shoot a second round score of 5-over-par 77.
“Today I started hitting fairways and was just trying to get pars and not always trying to force birdies,” Wang said. “I was able to keep my approach shots and putts below the hole so I could get up and down around the greens easier than yesterday.”
Allen, of Pittsburgh, Pa., carded a 3-over-par 75, the lowest girls score yet in the tournament. Allen improved Tuesday's score by seven strokes helping move her into the top three of the Girls Division.
“My approach shots were leaving me short putts but unfortunately I missed a lot of those birdie putts,” Allen said. “My swing was a little off yesterday so today I just focused on keeping my swing on plane and smooth it out but tomorrow I just need to be more careful with my putts.”
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. 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 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.
Final-round tee times will run from 7-11:48 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at New Castle Country Club. For more information contact tournament headquarters at 770-298-4411 or visit ajga.org.
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