GRAHAM CARDS 67 TO TAKE TWO-STROKE LEAD AT HP BOYS JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Hu remains within striking distance, two shots behind
ORLANDO, Fla. — Wesley Graham of Port Orange, Fla., fired his second straight 67 to take a two-stroke lead at 7-under-par after three rounds at the HP Boys Junior Championship. Second-round leader Mu Hu of Shen Zhen, China, carded his third consecutive sub-par round and sits in second place at 5-under-par heading into Friday's final round at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the HP Boys Junior Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event being held at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge. The 76-player field features players from 24 states, Taiwan, China and South Korea. The par-72 course is being played at 7,189 yards for the tournament. The tournament field was cut to the top 40 and ties after Wednesday's second round.
After posting an opening-round 75, Graham has recorded nine birdies and two eagles, each on the par-5 16th hole, against only three bogeys over his next 36 holes. Though his confidence has grown over the past two days, Graham said birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 today helped him maintain the confidence he created in the second round.
“I missed a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 1 and worried that it'd be another day of good shots and missed putts,” Graham said. “But the birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 helped the confidence and I got off to a solid start.”
Hu, who has been nursing a wrist injury he suffered at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, started the round 2-over-par through four holes, but carded back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 to remain near the top of the leaderboard. Though he lost the 36-hole lead, Hu said last week's session with his sports psychologist has helped his mental game, especially in rounds like today.
“My wrist hurt the first few holes, but the medicine started to kick in and I birdied No. 5,” said Hu, who finished with four birdies over his final 12 holes en route to a third-round 71. “I am a better player after today's round.”
Mark Johnson of Tulsa, Okla., Scott Langley of St. Louis, and Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., are all tied for third after finishing with three-day totals of 4-under-par 212.
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.
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, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Final-round tee times at the HP Boys Junior Championship will begin Friday at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information on the HP Boys Junior Championship, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (407) 876-8048.