David Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, remains in the lead after firing a 10-under-par 62 on the Fazio Course at PGA National Resort & Spa in round three of the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Rose Zhang of Irvine, California, posted a 3-under-par 69 on the Champion Course and will enter the final round with a three-shot lead.
The 43rd edition of the Rolex Tournament of Champions features 144 of the best junior golfers in the world from 26 states and seven countries. The tournament assembles the Rolex Junior All-Americans with the past year’s champions to create The Greatest Week in Junior Golf. There are 81 current or former Rolex Junior All-Americans in the field, with a total of 91 AJGA champions competing.
Past winners of the Rolex Tournament of Champions include Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Charles Howell, David Gossett, Webb Simpson, Sam Burns, Heather Farr, Kellee Booth, Inbee Park, Morgan Pressel and Alison Lee.
Ford got off to a hot start with a birdie on his first hole of the day, the par-5 No. 1. The high school senior proceeded to birdie Nos. 3-5, but he was only just getting started. He added two more birdies on his front nine to make the turn at 6-under-par 30.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill commit added four birdies on his back nine and was bogey-free on the day. He came up one shot shy of matching the Fazio course record of 61. Ford leads the Boys Division by seven strokes at 19-under-par 196.
Ford entered the week a two-time 2020 AJGA Invitational champion with wins at the AJGA Invitational at Sedgefield and The Junior PLAYERS Championship. The two-time Rolex Junior All-American also won the Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational. Ford is No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Bruce Murphy of Johns Creek, Georgia, sits in second at 12-under-par 203. He opened his round with an eagle on the par-5 No. 1 and made the turn at 5-under-par 31. The University of Tennessee commit finished the day with two eagles and five birdies for a round of 8-under-par 64. Murphy's two 2020 victories came at the Greenwood Junior Championship and the Rome Junior Classic. He's No. 20 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
William Love of Atlanta, is in third at 10-under-par 205. He carded a 4-under-par 68 in the third round with an eagle and three birdies. The Duke University commit won the 2020 Sean Foley Performance Junior Championship and is No. T51 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Gordon Sargent of Birmingham, Alabama, and Bryan Lee of Fairfax, Virginia, are T4 at 9-under-par 206. Sargent is a Vanderbilt University signee and a three-time Rolex Junior All-American. Lee won the 2020 Justin Thomas Junior Championship and is an ACE Grant recipient.
Zhang opened her third round on the Champion Course with five-consecutive pars before making a birdie on hole six. She added another birdie on No. 8 and made the turn with a bogey-free 2-under-par 34.
The Stanford University signee closed out her round with eight straight pars and a birdie on No. 18 to finish the day at 3-under-par 69 and 10-under-par 206 for the tournament. She leads the Girls Division by three strokes.
The reigning two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year is already a two-time AJGA Invitational champion this year with wins at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship and The PING Invitational. She owns nine AJGA victories. Zhang also won the U.S. Women’s Amateur and finished T11 at the ANA Inspiration this year.
Xin (Cindy) Kou of Whittier, California, is in second at 7-under-par 209. Kou fired seven birdies on the day for a round of 3-under-par 69. The University of Southern California signee owns 11 AJGA victories, which is seven short of the all-time Girls Division record. Kou is No. 3 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Megha Ganne of Holmdel, New Jersey, is in third at 3-under-par 213. Ganne is No. 8 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and a Stanford University verbal commit. She owns one AJGA victory.
Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Florida, is in fourth at 1-under-par 215. The three-time First Team Rolex Junior All-American owns two AJGA victories.
Amanda Sambach of Davidson, North Carolina, and Madison Hewlett of Oldsmar, Florida, are T5 at even-par 216.
Final-round tee times run from 7:30 - 9:20 a.m. on Saturday, November 28. The Girls Division will be competing on the Fazio Course, while the Boys Division will play the Champion.
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Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. It's Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 500 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, Rolex is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.