Liang Maintains Lead at AJGA Junior at River Creek
Brewer adds onto lead in Girls Division at River Creek Club
Leesburg, Va. — Zheng Liang of Bradenton, Fla., showed no signs of slowing down on his chase for his first AJGA win, backing up his opening 66 with a 2-under-par 70 Wednesday. In the Girls Division, Shabril Brewer of Herndon, Va., opened up a two-shot lead after carding a 1-under-par 71.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at River Creek is a 54-hole stroke play event held at River Creek Club. The field features 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 18 states, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Italy. The par-72 course is playing at 6,986 yards in the Boys Division and 6,104 yards in the Girls Division.
A day after shooting 66 with eight birdies on his 17th birthday, Liang continued plugging along Wednesday, carding three birdies in the second round to maintain a two-shot lead heading into Thursday's final round. Liang started off with three pars but a bogey on the par-5 4th and a par save from 10 feet on No. 5 caused him to change his mindset.
“I was a little bit nervous because I hit the ball to the right [on No. 5], but I saved my par from 10 feet and my confidence, and that's how I made some birdies the rest of the way,” Liang said.
But confidence hasn't been an issue for Liang so far this week as he continues to ride a hot putter.
“I have some confidence,” Liang said. “I don't know why. When I see the hole, I think I can make it. Sometimes I don't even read the line. I just putt and make it.”
But with 10 players carding rounds under par Wednesday, Liang knows he'll have to continue playing the way he has the first two rounds to get the win.
“There will be some [pressure], but I'm just not going to worry about it and play my game and just do my best,” Liang said.
Two shots back of Liang is Noori Hyun of Centreville, Va., at 6-under-par 138. After firing a 67, the low of the second round, Drew Kirby of Baton Rouge, La., moved up 12 spots to tie Andrew Lister of Haymarket, Va., for third at 4-under-par. Kraig McLeod of Pebble Beach, Calif., is fifth at 3-under-par.
Brewer bogeyed her first hole of the day but was able to counter right away with a birdie at the par-4 second.
“My putt for par on No. 1 just hit the edge,” Brewer said. “So, I didn't let it bother me too much. I forgot about it and told myself I could do better.”
Brewer then went on to pick up birdies on Nos. 4 and 13 to give herself a two-shot lead heading into the final round.
“I know it's going to be the last day but I just need to play relaxed,” Brewer said. “I try to beat the course. That's how I play and I might have a couple tough holes, but I know I can recover from it.”
Samantha Wagner of Clermont, Fla., carded the only other round under par in the Girls Division to get into second at 1-over-par. Anna Kim of Chandler, Ariz., and Sara Stanley of Centreville, Va., are tied for third at 3-over-par.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Tee times for the final round of the AJGA Junior at River Creek will be from 7 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana at 678-617-2424.