KMIECIK CRUISES INTO LEAD AT RANDY WISE JUNIOR OPEN
Meier strengthens lead in Girls Division at Spring Meadows Country Club
LINDEN, Mich. — Kyle Kmiecik of Avon, Ohio drove past the rest of the Boys Division Wednesday when he recorded a two-day total of 5-under-par 139 at the Randy Wise Junior Open. His consistent play leaves him three strokes ahead of round-one leader Brandon Park of Weston, Fla. In the Girls Division, Christine Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich. expanded her lead to four strokes with a two-day total of 2-over-par 146.
Kmiecik, a veteran AJGA player, improved on the accuracy of his driver during the second round, hitting 12 of Spring Meadow's tree-lined fairways, compared to four in the first round. The course is set up well for the 16-year-old, and his round has been highlighted both days by birdies on the par-3 No. 13.
“I birdied No. 13 yesterday and then today, I hit my tee shot to within 15 feet and sank the putt,” Kmiecik said. “This course is playing well for me, so tonight I just want to get some sleep, come back tomorrow and keep my game the same.”
His game has treated him well this summer as he boasts two top 15 finishes in AJGA events, including a win at the Midwest Junior Players Championship.
Sitting two strokes behind Kmiecik is Mac McLaughlin of Shaker Heights, Ohio with a two-day total of 3-under-par 141, while Brandon Park is in third with a two-day total of 2-under-par 142. Tied for fourth are Wesley Gates of Novi, Mich., James Dewling of Brighton, Mich., and Brenden Beeg of Littleton, Colo., each having recorded a two-day total of 1-under-par 143.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Randy Wise Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Spring Meadows Country Club. The 95-player field features players from 13 states and Poland. The Boys Division is playing from 6,918 yards, while the Girls Division is being played at 6,168 yards.
In the Girls Division, Meier improved on her first-round total of 2-over-par 74 by recording an even-par 72 during the second round. Her two-day total of 2-over-par 146 allows her a four-stroke lead heading into the final round. The 16-year-old traded bogey for birdie twice on the front nine, but recorded straight pars on the back.
“I spent the day just trying to make par,” Meier said. “I'm really excited about the way I'm playing. I'm working hard and it's showing.”
Meier's day was highlighted by her play on the par-3 No. 8 when she hit her tee shot to within 10 feet and drained the putt to record her second birdie of the day.
Four strokes behind Meier, tied for second are Jaclyn Shepherd of Delafield, Wis., and Courtney McKim of Raleigh, N.C., each having carded a two-day total of 6-over-par 150.
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 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.
Final-round tee times for the Randy Wise Junior Open will run from 7 — 11:39 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at the Spring Meadows Country Club. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Jonah Beck at (810) 735-4363 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.