YUN ENTERS FINAL ROUND WITH ONE-STROKE LEAD AT THE PING INVITATIONAL
Choe uses her first-round course record to maintain a three-stroke lead at Karsten Creek Golf Club
STILLWATER, Okla. — Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash., took over the lead in the Boys Division at The PING Invitational Sunday. Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., shot 2-over-par in the second round but maintained her lead in the Girls Division by three strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the inaugural PING Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Karsten Creek Golf Club. The 85-player field features players from 21 states, Sweden and Australia. The Girls Division is playing Karsten Creek Golf Club at 6,252 yards, while the Boys Division is playing at 7,221 yards.
Yun's tee shot hit the mud on the edge of the water hazard on No. 18, but he chipped onto the green and stayed focused even after his putt hit the lip of the cup and popped back out.
“By far this course has the most fun holes, especially the way I played,” Yun said. “I had a very eventful [No. 18].”
Yun carded 2-under-par for the round, ending with a 70-70—140 two-day total. He was happy with his consistent play, which included 12 pars and four birdies. Yun made par on the last five holes, including his exciting No. 18.
“I hit lots of fairways and kept the ball in play on a lot of greens,” said the 2009 graduate. “I putted well and made all my short putts.”
Rickie Fowler, who has verbally committed to Oklahoma State University for 2007, maintained his strong play in the second round as well. Fowler, the first-round co-leader, shot 69-72—141, good enough for second overall.
William Kropp of Edmond, Okla., improved to 1-under-par to end in third place with a 72-71—143. Peter Uihlein nailed the lowest second-round total, a 69, and is alone at fourth. Richard Lee of Chandler, Ariz., and Tadd Fujikawa of Honolulu, both ended in fifth place with a 145 total.
In the Girls Division, Choe used her course record first-round 4-under-par to maintain the lead, ending with a 68-74—142 tournament total and maintained her lead with the help of her first-round play. Choe was happy, even though she did not turn in the same record-setting score. On Sunday, Choe hit 11 fairways and 12 greens which gave her good positioning for her eight pars and four birdies.
“I felt like I played well,” the rising senior said. “My score wasn't that great, but I hit some drives in good positions.”
Choe, who has not finished outside the top three in any AJGA event during 2006, looks to capture top honors here during the final round. The 17-year-old, who has verbally committed to the University of Arizona in the fall of 2007, won her last major tournament in June at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship.
“This is a great tournament,” Choe said. “The course is awesome. If I could get a win here it would be great, but everyone wants to win.”
Glory Yang of Murrieta, Calif., shot 1-under-par 71 and ended second overall. Yang was happy with the way she was able to stay positive through the round, where she made six birdies.
“I made so many birdies today,” Yang said. “I was happy about how I managed my golf game. I felt very comfortable on each hole and I felt like I learned another lesson which will help me make good decisions.”
Sydney Burlison of Salinas, Calif., finished the day in third place, shooting a 70-76—146.
This week's tournament title partner, PING, designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of golf equipment including metal woods, irons, putters and golf bags. The family-owned company was founded in 1959 by the late Karsten Solheim. Solheim is the only person to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as a golf club manufacturer. Today, the Phoenix-based company is under the direction of Solheim's youngest son, John A. Solheim. PING game-improvement products can be found in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pinggolf.com.
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 49 states and 25 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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.
Final-round tee times will begin at 7:45 a.m. Monday off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Karsten Creek Golf Club. For more information on The PING Invitational, please contact tournament headquarters at (405) 743-4830.