MILLER, KELLY LOCKED UP AT 1-OVER-PAR HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND
Oh shoots 75, leads Girls Division by four strokes
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – William Miller of McMurray, Pa., fought his way to a 1-over-par 73 and a share of the lead with Timothy Kelly of Staten Island, N.Y., in Wednesday’s second round of the Nike Golf Junior at Toftrees Resort. In the Girls Division, Angela Oh of Maple Shade, N.J., carded a 3-over-par 75 and cruised to a four-stroke lead with a two-day total of 149.
The second installment of the Nike Golf Junior at Toftrees Resort is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. The tournament features 92 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, ages 12-15, from 21 states and Canada. The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series, created in 1998, is a collection of 10 events designed to give younger AJGA members an opportunity to play competitive golf.
Miller, who began the day three strokes back at even par, struggled to a 2-over-par 38 on the front nine, but battled back with birdies at Nos. 13, 16 and 17 to shoot 35 on the back nine and force a tie at 145 with Kelly.
“I just wanted to play a steady round,” Miller said. “The hole locations were a little tougher today, so I just tried to pick my spots. It could have been lower – I played the par-5s pretty bad and you need to take advantage of them out here.”
Kelly found the going tougher in Wednesday’s second round after firing a first-round 69, but was able to hold on to a share of the lead and meet his goal of playing in Thursday’s final pairing.
“I put myself into some bad spots,” Kelly said. “I attacked the course today, playing aggressively just like I did yesterday, but the putts didn’t fall.
“I feel pretty confident going into the final round, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.”
Both players will be vying for their first AJGA win. Miller’s previous best finish in an AJGA event came at the 2004 Solutions Consulting Junior Classic, where he tied for fourth, and Kelly placed 10th at last year’s Nike Golf Junior at Toftrees Resort.
Jed Dirksen of Hampton, Iowa, shot 74 and stands alone in third place with a two-day total of 149. Michael Soowal of Blue Bell, Pa., and Matthew Loftus of Ridgefield, Conn., are tied for fourth with two-day totals of 151.
In the Girls Division, Oh put herself in position to get her first win in an AJGA event, but hopes to perform better in Thursday’s final round.
“Today was kind of steady, but I don’t think I played as well as I could have,” Oh said. “Hopefully I’ll do better tomorrow. I’m playing fairways and greens and I’m going to try to shoot something in the low-70s.”
Oh finished third at last year’s Nike Golf Junior at Toftrees Resort.
Defending champion Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn., shot a 4-over-par 76 and trails Oh by four strokes heading into the final round. Sheary says she needs to focus on her putting to contend for her second Nike Golf Junior at Toftrees Resort title.
“I’m hitting nice shots into greens but three-putts are killing me,” Sheary said. “I’ve made some bogeys where if I thought more I could have prevented them. I’m hoping to pull together tomorrow – I’ve got to make some birdies.”
Kate Durnan of Mendham, N.J., and Hayley Milbourn of Baltimore are tied for third place with two-day totals of 157.
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 begin Thursday at off the No. 1 tee. For more information about the Nike Golf Junior at Toftrees Resort, please contact tournament headquarters at (814) 238-6951.
The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
What is Leadership Links?
Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.
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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.