Powell leads AJGA Florida Junior into final round
Newell new Girls Division leader
WESTON, Fla. Austin Powell of Jupiter, Fla., took the lead at the AJGA Florida Junior after shooting a 6-under-par 66 for a two-day tournament total 8-under-par 136. A.J. Newell of Tampa, Fla., carded even-par 72 to become the Girls Division leader by one stroke heading into the final round.
The AJGA Florida Junior is a 54-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Weston Hills Country Club Tour Course. The event features 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from nine states and 10 countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,987 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,095 yards.
Powell carded six birdies and no bogeys during the second round at Weston Hills Country Club Tour Course, thanks to a 25-foot putt on No. 18 to save par. He had a clear mindset heading into Wednesday and will carry the momentum into the final round.
My mentality was to just play one shot at a time and try and make as many birdies as possible, Powell said. I knew going in I wasn't in the lead and I also had 36 holes to go, so I just tried to chip away and hopefully shoot a round like I did today. Tomorrow, I'm going to try and not really think about what is at stake. It's hard, but I'm going to really focus on keeping in the moment and try to go as low as I can.
Kristian Caparros of Miami Lakes, Fla., is in second place with a 5-under-par 139 and Edward Figueroa of Naples, Fla., is in third with a 4-under-par 140. Tied for fourth at 2-under-par 142 are Ramsey Touchberry of Bradenton, Fla., and Jared Carver of Weston, Fla.
Newell birdied her last hole, No. 9, to finish the second round in first place. She feels optimistic about Thursday's round, believing there is potential to score lower.
I am going to try and stay confident, Newell said. I think the score is out there and I think I'm capable of going a handful under par here. I'm just going to go with that and see how it goes tomorrow. I'm going to play confident and try to do my best.
Natalia Forero of Cali, Colombia, carded a two-day tournament total of even-par 144 to sit in second place. Kailey Walsh of Boca Raton, Fla., moved up eight spots on the leaderboard with the help of a hole-in-one on No. 17. She is now in third place with 3-over-par 147.
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 AJGA Florida Junior please contact AJGA Headquarters at (678) 315-3446 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.