ROACH, KIM HOLD 36-HOLE LEAD AT RINGGOLD TELEPHONE COMPANY JUNIOR CLASSIC
RINGGOLD, Ga. — Wes Roach, a 17-year-old native of Knoxville, Tenn., remains on top of the leaderboard at the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic following a second-round 68 Wednesday to go to 8-under-par 132. Joy Kim of Duluth, Ga., shot the low round in the Girls Division, scoring a 3-under-par 67 for a tournament total 137.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at WindStone Golf Club, the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic consists of 75 boys and 23 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states, including 31 from Georgia.
Roach, looking for his first AJGA title, started off the day with a bogey, but brought it back to even with a birdie on the 5th hole. Roach then built on his lead with a stretch of three birdies in a row on Nos. 8, 9 and 10.
“It feels good,” Roach said about leading going into the final round. “I was hitting the ball in the fairway and putting well.”
Roach said hitting fairways was the key to his success so far.
“It is a short, tight course,” Roach said. “It is not a course you want to scramble on.”
Roach lost a shot with a bogey on the 15th hole but got it back quickly after birdies on Nos. 16 and 17. A double-bogey on the final hole cut his lead to one shot.
William Miller of Venetia, Pa., is one shot off the pace after carding a 64 to go to 7-under-par 133. David Yujin Chung of Fayetteville, N.C., sits in third place at 4-under-par 136. Chris Mullhaupt of Bradenton, Fla., James White of Acworth, Ga., Harris English of Thomasville, Ga., and Spencer Cole of Greer, S.C., are all tied for fourth place at 1-under-par 139.
In the Girls Division, Kim scored back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 and birdied No. 8 to card a 3-under-par 32 on the front nine. She shot even par on the back.
“I had a steady round,” Kim said. “My whole game was good. I managed it well.”
Going into the final round, Kim holds a two-shot lead over first-round co-leader Marika Lendl of Bradenton, Fla., who stands at 70-69-139.
Tied for third place are Candace Schepperle of Hoover, Ala., and Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla., at 142.
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 an annual 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, which is in its third decade of support, 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
Final-round tee times for the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday at WindStone Golf Club. For more information, call tournament headquarters at (706) 965-2542.