Kaiyuree Moodley of Johannesburg, South Africa, vaulted into the lead after firing a 4-under-par 68 in the second round to reach 4-under-par 140 for the tournament.
Moodley's stellar round was even more impressive given the weather conditions during the day. Wind gusts reached as high as 30 mph with the wind holding steady throughout the day at 15-20 mph. In light of the weather forecast, the yardage was adjusted to 5,902 yards.
The 11th ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex boasts a field featuring the best female junior golfers from around the world. The 72-player field includes seven of the top-25 girls in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and two of the top 10. The champion will receive a Symetra Tour exemption into the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March.
Moodley, playing in her first AJGA event, entered the day three strokes off the lead after posting a first-round even-par 72. The South African wasted no time moving up the leaderboard as she fired three birdies in her first four holes and didn’t look back. Moodley added another three birdies on the back nine to finish with six on the day and 10 for the tournament. Her round was the lowest of the day in windy conditions. Moodley will enter the final round with a two-stroke lead.
Julia Gregg of Farmers Branch, Texas, sits in second at 2-under-par 142 after carding a 3-under-par 69 in the second round. The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville verbal commit has posted six birdies over the course of the tournament. Gregg, who was named to the 2017 Transamerica Scholastic Honor Roll, won the 2016 Cameron McCormick Junior All-Star. Gregg’s best 2018 finish was fifth at the Kyle Stanley Championship by Transamerica.
Annabell Fuller of London, United Kingdom; Ingrid Lindblad of Halmstad, Sweden; and Yuka Saso of Manila, Philippines, are T3 at 1-under-par 143. Fuller, the first-round leader, is playing in her first AJGA event. Lindblad, who is verbally committed to Louisiana State University, is also playing in her first AJGA event. Saso won the 2018 Thunderbird International Junior.
The final round will take place Monday, January 21, on Nos. 1 and 10 from 8:15 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.
For more information or photo requests, please contact Phil Poupore (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 724-991-8315.
About the ANNIKA Foundation
Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation to provide opportunities in women’s golf at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. The Foundation has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children, including SPARK, Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.
It annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida; ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China; ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup in Sweden; and, in association with the R&A, the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America and ANNIKA Invitational Australasia. In 2013, the Foundation’s reach extended to the collegiate ranks with the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M (awarded to most outstanding female NCAA Division I golfer) and ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M (12 team, 54-hole event in Minnesota). SPARK grants to schools, financial support of Healthy 100 Kids, endowing an AJGA ACE Grant, and the “Share My Passion” Golf Clinics are other areas of emphasis.
About the AJGA
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 12-19) of more than 6,900 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade and adidas are the AJGA’s National Sponsors, supporting the AJGA for more than 25 years. TaylorMade has served as the Official Ball of the AJGA since 2016. adidas has been the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA since 2017. Rolex, in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.