Jorden Maintains Lead at Mayakoba Junior Golf Classic
Villegas leads Girls Division at El Camaleón Golf Club heading into final round
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Quintana Roo, Mexico — Kevin Jorden of Juno Beach, Fla., held on to his first-round lead at El Camaleón Golf Club in Playa del Carmen to head into Thursday's final round three strokes ahead. In the Girls Division, Fernanda Villegas of Chula Vista, Calif., carded a 6-over-par 77 to take the lead by two.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Mayakoba Junior Golf Classic is a 54-hole, stroke play event being held at El Camaleón Golf Club. The field consists of 70 players, of which 33 are from Mexico. The rest come from eight U.S. states, Spain, Guatemala and England.
Jorden, who has finished in the top five in his last two AJGA events, made the turn with an even-par 35 but would end the round at 2-over-par for a two-day total of 142. No stranger to the course, Jorden has high hopes for a victory in 2010.
“I had the lead going into the last five holes here last year and ended up third, so I hope I can hold on and win this time,” Jorden said.
Rounding out the Boys Division in second is Patrick Grimes of Palo Alto, Calif., with a two-day total of 3-over-par 145. Will Davenport of Palm City, Fla., sits alone in third with a 5-over-par 147. Jeffrey Meltzer of Bradenton, Fla., and Matthew Fliss of Bellflower, Calif., are both tied at fourth with 8-over-par 150s.
Villegas, who trailed by six strokes after Tuesday's first round, was able to scramble to take the lead in the Girls Division with a two-day total of 152. Playing in her first AJGA event, Villegas made the turn at 6-over-par but combated with two birdies in the first four holes of her back nine.
Villegas says she plans to work on her short game heading into the final round in hopes of claiming her first AJGA victory.
“I need to work with my game because this course is short, but it has a lot of difficulties and I have work to do with my game if I want to win here,” Villegas said. “Tomorrow I'm going to make better decisions on the golf course and I'm not going to focus on a low score.”
First-round leader, Mary Fran Hillow of Orlando, Fla., and Gabriela Lopez of Mexico City, Mexico, are both tied for second two strokes behind with 154s.
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.
The final round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun start at El Camaleón Golf Club Thursday, August 19. For more information on the Mayakoba Junior Golf Classic, please contact Tournament Headquarters at 678-425-1774.