VONGVANIJ SHOOTS 63 TO TIE STARK FOR SECOND-ROUND LEAD
Schepperle holds lead for second straight day in Girls Division
RINGGOLD, Ga. — Arnond Vongvanij of Bradenton, Fla., tied the second-lowest score ever shot by an American Junior Golf Association player to share the lead with Blake Stark of Canton, Ga., when he fired a 7-under-par 63 at the WindStone Golf Club. Candace Schepperle of Hoover, Ala., extended her lead in the Girls Division when she carded a 68 to go to 3-under-par 137.
Conducted by the AJGA, the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic is being held at the WindStone Golf Club. Ninety-nine junior golfers from 14 states, Canada and Peru, including 37 from Georgia, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.
Vongvanij is one of only 11 players to shoot 63 or lower in an AJGA tournament. Vongvanij had two eagles and six birdies to shoot a 33-30—63.
“I take it one shot at a time and try to do my best on each shot. I'm working on not giving up,” Vongvanij said.
After driving the green and making birdie on the par-4 14th hole, Stark's run of birdies on four of the last five holes put him in a position to tie with Vongvanij for the second-round lead.
After shooting a 1-over-par 36 on the front, Stark credited his short game for the recovery on the back nine.
“My putting was great, my chipping was great, but I only hit eight greens,” Stark said.
Tied for third place is Rob Bennett of Augusta, Ga., and Hudson Swafford of Tallahassee, Fla., both at 1-under-par 139. Wes Roach of Knoxville, Tenn., Hunter Slatton of Huntington, Ind., and Jay Vandeventer of Bristol, Va., are all tied for fifth with 2-over-par 142s.
Schepperle finished the front nine with two birdies and an eagle for a 4-under-par 31. She leads the Girls Division for the second consecutive day and said that winning is what she came to do.
“I need to play in some more tournaments,” Schepperle said. “I came in wanting to win; that was my plan and I want to stick to it.”
Last year's champion, Catherina Wang of Orlando, Fla., is in second place with a 4-over-par 144. Following close behind in the Girls Division is Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., with a 5-over-par 145.
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, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
Final-round tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday on the No. 1 tee at WindStone Golf Club. For more information, call tournament headquarters at (706) 965-2542.