Connelly jumps into the lead at Junior All-Star at Hilton Head
Skinner leads Girls Division by six strokes
BLUFFTON, S.C. — Austin Connelly of Las Colinas, Texas, took over the lead after the second round of the Junior All-Star at Hilton Head, shooting a 3-under-par 69. Isabella Skinner of Cumming, Ga., carded a 1-under-par 71 for a 142 tournament total to remain on top of the Girls Division.
The Junior All-Star at Hilton Head 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.
Connelly began the day with a birdie on No. 1, and finished with three more birdies on the final six holes.
“On No. 13 I hit driver, then had a little knock on with my 7-iron and I hit it 20 feet right of the pin,” he said. “My putt broke 6 feet to the left, and it basically came in the back door. It went straight sideways when it got to the hole.”
Connelly now holds a one stroke lead over the first-round leader, Pablo Andres Torres of Bogota, Colombia, who is in second place with a 3-under-par 141 tournament total. Dong-Jun Kim of Waxhaw, N.C., fired a 7-under-par 65 to jump into a third place tie with David Mackey of Bogart, Ga., and Matthew Plunkett of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., who each have a 2-under-par 142 tournament total.
Skinner was even-par for the round going into the last two holes when she birdied No. 8 to put herself 1-under-par. She also had birdies on Nos. 12, 15 and 18.
“I've been hitting the ball really well,” Skinner said. “It's given me the confidence to play consistent and go for the pins and put myself close. Even when I've gotten in trouble, I've been able to come back and get myself a couple birdies to erase those mistakes.”
Laura Sojo of Barranquilla, Colombia, still holds onto second place with a 4-over-par 148 tournament total, and Lauren Stephenson of Lexington, S.C., sits in third with a 6-over-par 150.
GARY GILCHRIST GOLF ACADEMY, a full-time signature golf instruction program located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series for juniors ages 12-15.
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 more than 40 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, 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 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information on the Junior All-Star at Hilton Head, please contact AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (843) 815-9144.