BOYS DIVISION LEAD STILL SPLIT HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND IN WISCONSIN
Brown and Elliot card 1-over-par 73s to lead Girls Division by one stroke
OREGON, Wis. — Battling the winds for the second day in a row, Jason Roets of Eikenhof, South Africa, and Richard Hearden III of Green Bay, Wis., each registered rounds of 1-under-par 71 to share possession of the lead heading into Friday's final round of the McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends. For the Girls Division, Devon Brown of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Alyssa Elliott of Madison, Wis., currently sit ahead of the field after posting two-day totals of 8-over-par 152 at The Legend at Bergamont.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at The Legend at Bergamont. The tournament field features 90 boys and 30 girls, ages 13-18, from 23 states, South Africa and Indonesia. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,082 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the layout at 6,099 yards. After the second round, the field was cut to the low 48 boys and 18 girls.
Similar to his opening round, Roets carded 36-35 en route to a two-day total of 2-under-par 142. The South Africa native brought his birdie total to eight for the tournament after firing four on the day, including two within the final four holes.
“It was a struggle out there with that wind really howling,” Roets said. “I had to concentrate and make good decisions, especially heading down the final six holes. My short game saved me a lot today.”
For Hearden III, the wind proved to be less of a distraction, as the Illinois State commit opened his round with a front-nine 33 that included four birdies. While bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18 brought his back-nine total to 2-over-par 38, his 1-under-par 71 was solid enough to land him in contention for the first time in Hearden III's AJGA career.
“I think this wind really favors me, being from Green Bay. It's pretty mild compared to what I am used to, so hopefully it will stay around for tomorrow,” Hearden III said. “I am really excited for the final round. I just need to keep it simple, take it one hole at a time and I should be fine.
Tied for third after carding two-day totals of 1-under-par 143 are David Walter of Eau Claire, Wis., Steven Sorenson of Hartland, Wis., and David Mills of Evansville, Ind.
Brown entered the day in a tie for fifth but quickly broke away from the field after carding a round of 1-over-par 73. She attributed her round to solid approach shots and a stronger familiarity with the course and conditions.
“Today was better than yesterday. I think I was used to the wind and got my club selections down,” Brown said. “I was able to make a few more birdies and just keep going down the back nine.”
Elliot, who has signed with the University of Wisconsin, carded 38-36 for a 2-over-par 74 total and a share of the lead. While she cited solid approach shots as keys to her round, it was her putting that put her in contention.
“My front nine wasn't too hot, but I managed to get back to normal on the back side thanks to some good putts to save par,” Elliott said. “My putting was definitely the strongest it has been today, and if I can play like that tomorrow I'll be pretty happy whatever the score comes out to be.”
One shot back of the leaders in a tie for third place are Kris Yoo of Schaumburg, Ill., and Allyssa Ferrell of Edgerton, Wis., at 9-over-par 153.
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 50 states and more than 30 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 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 McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends will run Friday from 7 — 8:40 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at The Legend at Bergamont. For more information, please contact AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (608) 835-6900.