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Fayetteville Country Club
Fayetteville, Ark. • August 10 - 13

Talley continues to lead in Girls Division at AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Tyler Thomas of Beaumont, Texas, shot his second straight 2-over-par 74 and now leads in the Boys Division by two strokes after two rounds of competition at Blessings Golf Club. Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., shot a 1-over-par 73 and opened up a nine-stroke lead over the Girls Division field.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 20 states. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 Blessings Golf Club layout at 6,923 yards, and the Girls Division is playing at 5,900 yards.

Thomas knows the manicured zoysia fairways at Blessings Golf Club a little better today after hitting all 13 of them off the tee in regulation. It seemed to pay dividends, as he was able to follow up that statistic with twelve greens in regulation. The combination helped him find four birdies and eight pars on the day.

“I knew I could play well today; I just had to avoid the big numbers,” Thomas said. “Staying straight off the tee had been a problem for me (this year), but I did well last week in Oklahoma and that allowed me to come out here with confidence. You have to take advantage of your opportunities here and if you have a good club in your hand you have to go after the pin and try to make birdie.”

Drew Czuchry of Auburn, Ga., is two strokes behind Thomas in second place at 6-over-par 150, while Taylor Moore of Edmond, Okla., and Sean Romero of Texarkana, Ark., are tied for third place at 7-over-par 151. Ricky Owaki of Yorba Linda, Calif., is in fifth place at 8-over-par 152.

In the Girls Division, Emma Talley continued her strong play and leads the Girls Division with a tournament total of 1-under-par 143.

While the 15-year-old Kentuckian didn't get off to her best start, she steadied herself and earned a healthy lead for Thursday's final round. She was 4-over-par after eight holes, but she opened fire on the notorious Robert Trent Jones, Jr., layout and signed for birdies on Nos. 9, 10, 13, 15 and 17 to leave the scoring tent with a back-nine 33 and her lead intact.

“It was a little iffy off the start, but I got it together and played well the last 11 holes,” Talley said. “I just said to myself, ‘Emma, let's go.'”

Emma Lavy of Fayetteville, Ark., follows Talley in second at 8-over-par 152, while Gianna Misenhelter of Overland Park, Kan., is in third at 15-over-par 159.

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 50 states and more than 30 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 for the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings will run from 7:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. off the No.1 tee Thursday, August 13, at Blessings Golf Club. For more information, please call Tournament Headquarters at (678) 617-9917.