Houston captures lead at White Manor Country Club
Cheng maintains position in the Girls Division by three strokes
MALVERN, Pa. — Chris Houston of Gilford, N.H., took the lead Wednesday carding a total of 1-over-par 143 at the CorseMax / Philadelphia Runner Junior. Anne Cheng of Torrance, Calif., shot a two-day total of 5-over-par 147 to stay on top of the Girls Division at White Manor Country Club.
The CorseMax / Philadelphia Runner Junior is a 54-hole stroke-play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, Pa. The event features 78 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 14 states and three countries. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 course at 6,960 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,048 yards.
Houston holds a one-stroke lead with an even-par 71 in the second round. He credited his low round to a strong back nine, including his par save on No. 13.
“I faced some adversity on the back nine,” Houston said. “I had a couple tough lies and made a couple of really good putts along with a really good par save on No. 13 to keep the round going.”
Having finished in a tie for second after a sudden-death playoff in 2010, Houston returns to White Manor Country Club looking for redemption.
“Last year it was tough for me losing in the playoff but I always had a good attitude coming back this year,” Houston said. ”White Manor Country Club is probably the perfect place where I would want to have a good tournament.”
In second place is Derek Bard of New Hartford, N.Y., with a two-day total 2-over-par 144. Harrison Shih of Saddle River N.J., is in third carding a 4-over-par 146. Tied for fourth are David Pompey of Clarks Summit, Pa., and David Long of Catonsville, Md., with a total of 6-over-par 148.
Cheng was a 2010 Rolex Junior All-American and has four top-10 finishes in 2011. She fired a 2-over-par 73, which she credited to consistent iron play in the second round.
“On No. 17 I had a lucky downhill birdie putt that helped me shoot a better score than yesterday,” Cheng said. “I've never won an AJGA event and if I won I would be really happy.”
In second place is Taylor Totland of Tinton Falls, N.J., carding an 8-over-par 150 throughout two rounds. Rounding out the top three was Ju-Hee Bae of Chantilly, Va., with a total of 9-over-par 151.
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.
Final-round tee times will run from 7:30 — 9:30 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees at White Manor Country Club. For more information on the CorseMax / Philadelphia Runner Junior, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 617-3050 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.