CHENG SITS ATOP THE LEADERBOARD AT WEST JUNIOR OPEN
Kang takes sole possession of lead in Boys Division
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Anne Cheng of Torrance, Calif., had a solid round of 1-under-par 71 to take the lead by two shots with a two-day total of 2-over-par 146. Jeffrey Kang of Fullerton, Calif., continued his steady play to lead the Boys Division at the West Junior Open. He shot a 3-under-par 69 in Wednesday's second-round to bring him to a two-day total of 7-under-par 137.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the West Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event being held on the Valley Course at Robinson Ranch Golf Club. The tournament field features 72 boys and 27 girls, ages 12-18, from 6 states, Argentina and Mexico. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,864 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,137 yards.
Cheng came out of the gates firing, making birdie on two of her first four holes. She recorded five birdies on the day coming at hole Nos. 3, 4, 8, 10 and 17 to put together a solid second-round. She attributes her low round of the day to consistent putting.
“Yesterday my putter was a little off,” Cheng said. “Today was totally different as I started to make a lot more putts which will always help your score.”
Stacy Kim of Yorba Linda, Calif., is in second after she shot a 2-over-par 74 bringing her two-day total to 4-over-par 148. Sitting in third is Veronica Valerio of Temecula, Calif., she sits at 5-over-par 149.
Kang played the front nine nearly flawless as he recorded an eagle and two birdies against one bogey to shoot a 3-under-par 33 coming in. His eagle came on No. 4, a 539 yard par-5, where he hit 4-iron to 20 feet and sunk the putt. He came into the second-round tied for the lead and although he felt the added pressure, he executed his strategy to perfection.
“I played the front nine aggressively but the back nine requires a more conservative approach,” Kang said. “I was telling myself to be patient because it's easy to go in the wrong direction on a difficult course like this.”
Todd Baek of San Diego and Alexander Forss of Temecula, Calif., are tied for second each with two-day totals of 5-under-par 139. In a tie for fourth are Robin Jang of Los Angeles and Anthony Kim of Cerritos, Calif., each sit at 4-under-par 140.
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 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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 West Junior Open will run from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee Thursday at Robinson Ranch Golf Club on the Valley Course. For more information, please contact the Tournament Director Adam Johnson at (678) 485-1135.