RAH REMAINS IN CONTROL HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND AT PING JUNIOR AT THE WOODLANDS
Shaw cards second straight 71 to seize lead in Boys Division despite tough weather conditions
THE WOODLANDS, Texas â Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., fired a 1-over-par 73 amid cold and rainy conditions to take a demanding lead in the Girls Division of the PING Junior at The Woodlands following the second round Saturday. In the Boys Division, Geoffrey Shaw of Edmond, Okla., posted his second consecutive 71 for a two-day total of 142 to ease ahead by one stroke at the The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center's Panther Trail Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the PING Junior at The Woodlands is a 54-hole stroke play event held at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center's Panther Trail Course. The 129-player field features players from 20 states, Washington D.C., and three countries, Australia, Canada and Chile. The Girls Division is playing the Panther Trail Course at 5,996 yards, while the Boys Division is playing it at 6,959 yards.
Rah, who owns a two-day total of 2-under-par 142, holds a six-stroke advantage on her nearest competitors, Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, and Brianna Do of Lakewood, Calif., who are knotted in second place at 148. After opening with a 3-over-par 39 on her front nine, Rah responded with a strong finish to post a 2-under-par 34 on her back nine.
âI started the front with two bogeys on the first three holes, but I hung in there and made two birdies on my final two holes and that's really what I wanted to do,â Rah said. âMy main goal today was to give myself a good enough cushion through the bad weather. I'm not really going to think about (being ahead by six strokes) tomorrow; I just want to play like I'm even with everyone else and I think that will push me to stay focused on my goal to win.â
In the Boys Division, Shaw closed with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par 4, 18th hole to finish off his steady
1-under-par round. Shaw, who chipped in for birdie on No.5 and followed with another birdie on No.6 to keep his momentum going, holds a one-stroke advantage over Kelly Kraft of Denton, Texas, and Sang Yi of Carrollton, Texas, who are tied for second with 1-under-par 143 totals.
âI chipped in on No. 5 and that got me back to even-par for the tournament, so that was definitely some good momentum there,â Shaw said. âBogeys were a guarantee today with the weather, but I just tried not to get ahead of myself out there. Coming into this week I was just hoping to make the top 10, so actually having a chance to win would be great.â
Dong Su of Richmond, British Colombia, Hunter Hamrick of Montgomery, Ala., Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., and John Peterson of Fort Worth, Texas are all tied for fourth with two-day tournament totals of even-par 144.
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.
PING, a long-time supporter of junior golf, will support four AJGA events in 2007, two Open Events and two Invitationals: the PING Junior at The Woodlands, PING Phoenix Junior, PING Junior Solheim Cup and The PING Invitational. PING also sponsors the PING Schedule Magnet and PING College Golf Signing Day Web site.
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 run from 7:45 â 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 â 1:45 p.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Sunday at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center's Panther Trail Course.
For more information on the PING Junior at The Woodlands, please contact tournament headquarters at (281) 364-6771.