Botts Takes Lead In Boys Division at Hilton Head Junior All-Star
In first AJGA event, Hirai extends lead at Berkeley Hall Club
BLUFFTON, S.C. — Zach Botts of Jonesborough, Tenn., shot a 1-under-par 71 to take the lead by one in the Boys Division of the Hilton Head Junior All-Star. In the Girls Division, Reona Hirai of Summerville, S.C., shot a 1-over-par 73 to extend her lead from one to five strokes.
The Hilton Head Junior All-Star is one of 10 events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Hilton Head Junior All-Star is a 54-hole stroke play event held on the South Course at Berkeley Hall Club. The tournament field features 60 boys and 17 girls from 17 states, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados, British Colombia and Columbia. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,761 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,970 yards.
In his second-round, Botts' 13 pars accompanied three birdies and two bogeys to shoot one of five under-par rounds in the Boys Division and end up with a two day total of 1-over-par 145. He said it was the short par-4 fourteenth [326 yards] that got his round going and helped him shoot under par. Botts will be looking to earn his first AJGA win in tomorrow's final round and he says it will take consistency to secure the title.
“I'm going to try to make more birdie putts tomorrow,” Botts said. “I will hopefully play more consistent off the tee and just give myself the opportunity to do well.”
Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division are Jordan Batchelor of St. Johns, Fla., Rigel Fernandes of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Ramsey Touchberry of Bradenton, Fla., and Tyler Moore of Escondido, Calif., who are all tied for second with scores of 2-over-par 146.
In the Girls Division, Hirai had a consistent round consisting of 15 pars, two bogeys and a lone birdie on the par-4 seventh hole. She says it was an improvement in one part of her game that helped her remain steady and card a two-round total of 2-under-par 142.
“My short game was a lot better than yesterday,” Hirai said. “That improvement from yesterday helped me make a lot of up and downs and pars,” Hirai said.
In second place is Alexandra White of Honolulu, Hawaii, with a two-round score of 3-over-par 147. Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division are Rachel Dai of Suwanee, Ga., and Michaela Owen of Alpharetta, Ga., who are tied for second after they finished with a two day total of 6-over-par 150.
GARY GILCHRIST GOLF ACADEMY, a full-time signature golf instruction program with campuses located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and in Arroyo Grande, Calif., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which provides juniors ages 12-15 access to national competitive golf opportunities.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Thursday's final-round tee times will run from 7:30 — 9:18 a.m. off of the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Jeremy Freyman at (678) 617-9917 or tournament headquarters at (843) 815-3154.