THE MEMORIAL JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card
The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course
August 3-6, 2004
BENJAMIN BATTLES WIND AND TAKES LEAD AT COLUMBUS
Lundskog moves atop leader board in Girls Division
COLUMBUS, Ohio – One day after 14 players shot rounds under-par, only four players were able to do so in the second round of the Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card. Brad Benjamin of Rockford, Ill., fired a 1-under-par 71 to take the lead in the Boys Division. Amber Lundskog of San Diego, Calif., took over the Girls Division lead, carding a second-round 74.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card is being held at The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course. One hundred junior golfers from 16 states, including 47 from Ohio, are entered in the field.
Benjamin, who entered the day tied for second after a first-round 68, finished with nines of 36 and 35. He hit 10 greens on the day, and credited his play off the tee, with keeping him under-par. He was able to make birdies on Nos. 4, 7, 12 and 18. Benjamin’s only real mishaps occurred on the par-3 5th and the 600-yard par-5 No. 6. Benjamin bogeyed both holes, but was able to recover and solidify his lead going into the final round.
“I struggled for the number that I put up today,” Benjamin said. “I had to make saves on both Nos. 2 and 3. I hit it well off the tee, but I did not hit my irons nearly as well,” the 17-year-old explained. “It was not the easiest round of golf, but I am pleased with how I played.”
Benjamin, whose best AJGA finish is a tie for sixth at this year’s Midwest Junior Championship at Rich Harvest Links, mentioned the difficulty of the Scarlet Course during the second round and described his chances of winning the tournament.
“The par-3s played tougher today,” Benjamin said. “It was more difficult, but I am happy that I won’t have to make up shots on the final day. This is my last AJGA tournament of the summer and I’ve been close before, so a win would be really great.”
Trailing Benjamin by two shots are Dan Rush of Avon Lake, Ohio, and Max Schechter of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Rush and Schechter sit at 3-under-par 141 after shooting 73 and 70, respectively. Tom Miles of Dublin, Ohio, and Andy Winings of Franklin, Ind., are tied for fourth, five shots behind Benjamin. Winings carded the low round of the day with a 68.
Lundskog was able to move atop the leader-board, after entering the round one stroke back. Lundskog finished strong, but she did not get off to the start she was looking for, after playing the first five holes 5-over-par.
“I really had to put those first holes behind me and come back,” Lundskog said. “I did the best I could and pulled it together. I was able to shoot 3-under for the rest of the day.”
Lundskog, whose two-day total is 145, continued to have a hot putter. One day after tallying only 26 putts, she needed just 29 in the second round. She credited her ability to make putts as the reason she remained in contention.
“My ball striking was not as good as it has been, but my putter kept me in the game,” Lundskog said. “I feel really good and this course is one of my favorite ones. It sets up well for my game and I am looking forward to the final round,” she added.
First-round leader Holly Niederkohr of Marysville, Ohio, shot a 77 and trails by two strokes. Carling Coffing of Middletown, Ohio, an incoming freshman at the Ohio State University, trails Niederkohr by four. Coffing carded a 72 during the second round.
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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
Final-round tee times will begin Friday at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:27 p.m. at The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course. For more information on the the Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 617-2427.