HUANG, WILLIAMS SIT TIED FOR LEAD AT TEE UP JUNIOR CHALLENGE
Five girls tied for lead heading into final round at Oak Valley Golf Club
BEAUMONT, Calif. — Tao Huang of Beaumont, Calif., and Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho, are tied for the lead in the Boys Division after two rounds of the TEE UP Junior Challenge at 6-under-par 138. Yu-Ling Hsieh of Beaumont, Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., Beverly Vatananugulkit of Cerritos, Calif., Brittany Mai of Poway, Calif., and Anna Jang of Aiea, Hawaii, are all tied atop the Girls Division at 4-over-par 148 heading into the final round Thursday at Oak Valley Golf Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the TEE UP Junior Challenge is a 54-hole stroke-play event being held at Oak Valley Golf Club. The tournament field consists of 103 boys and 41 girls, ages 12-18, from nine states, Taiwan and China. One hundred and twenty-three hail from the home state of California. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 layout at 6,937 yards, while the Girls Division is playing it at 6,076 yards. The field of 144 was cut after the second round to the low 45 boys and 21 girls. The cut fell at 150 and below for the Boys Division and 154 and below for the Girls Division.
Huang, the leader after the first round and a native of Taiwan, carded six birdies on the day including one on the par-4 10th where he sunk a 30-foot putt.
“I feel really lucky to be tied for the lead only being in the United States for a short time,” Huang said. “The way I like to prepare is to sleep and eat. I don't really practice during the tournament except for when I putted last night in my hotel room because I was bored.”
Williams recorded a 5-under-par 31 on the front nine that led to a 3-under-par 69. He also carded six birdies on the day with a stretch of three straight on Nos. 2-4. Williams' best moment of the day, however, came on the par-4 18th hole.
“I had a great front nine and after I turned at five under it got in my head,” Williams said. “I then had a rough back nine and on No. 18 I was able to make a 12-footer for birdie. Being able to end on a birdie just made my day.”
Behind Huang and Williams in third are Alexander Forss of Temecula, Calif., and Daniel Lee of Valencia, Calif., both at 4-under-par 140. Tied for fifth at 2-under-par 142 are Maxwell Marsico of Las Vegas, Max Homa of Valencia, and Chien Yao Hung of Sinjhuang City, Taiwan.
In the Girls Division, Lee came into the second round tied for eighth, but was able to card three birdies on the day with her first one coming on No. 10, her first hole of the day.
“I hit a solid second shot and I had a 20-foot putt,” Lee said. “It lipped out on the right edge and went in. I knew that after that it was going to be a good day. I'm really happy because I've never been tied for first and now I know the level of what I can do.”
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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.
The final round of the TEE UP Junior Challenge is Thursday, July 31 with tee times running off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees from 7 — 8:30 a.m. For more information, please contact tournament headquarters at (951) 769-7200.