Hall sprints to three-shot lead at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Hall's second-round 64 included nine birdies on Dye's Valley Course
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., celebrated his 17th birthday Saturday by firing a 6-under-par 64 on Dye's Valley Course during the second round of The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf. His 6-under-par total is three shots better than first-round co-leader Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., while three players are even-par and will begin Sunday's final round tied for third.
In cooperation with the PGA TOUR, the American Junior Golf Association has brought 78 players, ages 12-18, from 21 states and 15 foreign countries to TPC Sawgrass for a special junior golf experience. For the second straight year the 2011 champion will be given a sponsor's exemption to the Nationwide Tour's Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open Presented by Planters, which will be played Oct. 17-23. Saturday's second round was played on Dye's Valley Course, and the 6,864-yard, par-70 layout matched the set-up used for the Nationwide Tour event.
Hall re-injured his surgically-repaired wrist in June and is playing in his first AJGA event since the Thunderbird International Junior in May. He has returned with a vengeance, as his round of 64 is the best in his four-year AJGA career.
“It means a lot. It was a tough summer to find things to do, but I've worked really hard since I was cleared to come back,” said Hall, who returned to competition last month at the Junior PGA Championship. “I don't take it for granted anymore and I come out here more hungry and motivated to play.”
During the 2010 Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open Presented by Planters, only three players matched or bettered Hall's score on Dye's Valley Course. Though a Nationwide Tour exemption is on the line, Hall said that's not his primary focus.
“That'd be a great opportunity for me, but at the same time I have one more day left and I want to look ahead to the Stadium Course and what I need to do there before I start thinking about the Nationwide Tour,” said Hall, who competed in the PGA TOUR's 2010 Turning Stone Resort Championship.
For Liu, four front-nine birdies were offset by four back-nine bogeys, which resulted in an even-par 70. Liu and Hall have met once before in the junior golf spotlight, as Liu prevailed in a quarterfinal matchup during his championship run at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur.
“On the Stadium Course, three shots is almost nothing. If you don't stick to it, it could go really quickly, either way,” Liu said. “I had it at 7-under at one point so I know I can do it, but Gavin played great today and 6-under is an incredible round on the Valley Course.”
Lorens Chan of Honolulu, Jacob Fair of Monett, Mo., and Nicolas Echavarria of Medellin, Colombia, are tied for third at even-par, while Ireland's Gavin Moynihan is sixth at 1-over-par.
Final-round tee times will run from 8 — 10 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees of THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 601-8922.
About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world's premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.
The PGA TOUR's mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players. In 2011, the three Tours collectively have tournaments in 29 states and in 12 countries and territories outside of the United States. PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 500 million households in 224 countries and territories in 29 languages.
Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2010, tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $120 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR's all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.6 billion. The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About TPC Sawgrass
TPC Sawgrass opened in 1980 as the first Tournament Players Club, conceived by then-PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman to provide a TOUR-owned, world-class tournament facility that would offer fans the ultimate viewing experience, as well as give golfers an opportunity to play where the pros play. It became the permanent home of THE PLAYERS Championship in 1982, and today is recognized as one of the great venues in championship golf. THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, designed by Pete Dye, annually is ranked among the world's top golf courses. Dye's Valley, designed by Dye in collaboration with Jerry Pate and Bobby Weed, opened in 1987.
TPC Sawgrass underwent a major year-long renovation that was completed in November 2006. In addition to the installation of a state-of-the-art drainage and irrigation system on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, an elegant 77,000 square-foot Mediterranean Revival-style clubhouse was built to accommodate the growing needs and stature of THE PLAYERS, as well as those of a world-class resort. TPC Sawgrass also features the state-of-the-art TOUR Academy teaching facility, which opened in 2007. For more information, please visit www.tpc.com/sawgrass.
About TaylorMade Golf Company, Inc. dba TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company
TaylorMade Golf has led the golf industry's technological revolution since the company was founded in 1979. TaylorMade metalwoods, irons and putters have been used to win hundreds of professional golf tournaments around the world. In 1998, TaylorMade became a wholly owned subsidiary of the adidas Group. adidas Golf creates high-performance, technology-infused golf apparel and footwear worn by hundreds of professional golfers around the world. Ashworth, which became a brand of the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company in 2008, creates relaxed, lifestyle-oriented golf apparel synonymous with authenticity and quality. Learn more about TaylorMade-adidas Golf and its brands at (866) 530-TMAG (8624) or www.taylormadegolf.com, www.adidasgolf.com, www.ashworthgolf.com, and www.tmag.com.
About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry offering a broad range of products across the three core brands adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 39,000 employees and generated sales of EUR 11.990 billion in 2010.
About the AJGA
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.