RIVARD OVERCOMES STORMS TO LEAD IN FORT MYERS
Hurst holds top spot after two rounds in her first AJGA event
FORT MYERS, Fla. Inclement weather did not interfere with Mathieu Rivard of Granby, Quebec, who shot a 4-under-par 68 in the second round, maintaining his first round lead in the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers is a 54-hole stroke play event that features junior golfers from 13 states and two foreign countries, including 37 from the state of Florida.
After rain delayed Wednesday's first round by eight hours and postponed the completion of the round until Thursday morning, a break in the clouds mid-morning allotted just enough to time to complete the second round.
Rivard's round was fueled by five birdies and continuous solid play on the back nine both rounds for a two-round score of 68-69137. Rivard's 7-under-par total is one better than Tripp Mcallister of Lake City, S.C., who shot back-to-back rounds of 3-under 69.
I was hitting really well today, Rivard said. I want to try to keep the ball in play for tomorrow, hit my greens, and see what's going to happen.
Trailing closely to Rivard and Mcallister in the Boys Division is Alexander Sitompul at 70-69139. Rounding out the top-5 tied for fourth are Chase Wright at 73-68141 and Hunter Hamrick at 71-70141.
In her first ever AJGA event, Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., leads the Girls Division in the second round at 76-70146. She gained momentum after she birdied her first hole, realizing she could improve her fourth-place standing after the first round.
I was hitting my approach shots much closer today and putts were going in, Hurst said. My drives were everywhere and I hope to straighten them out tomorrow.
Still in striking distance two-shots behind Hurst is Evan Jensen of Belleair, Fla., at 73-75148. Lindy Duncan of Plantation, Fla., at 76-73149, Tanya Wadhwa of Bradenton, Fla., at 73-78151 and Sherlyn Popelka of Lake Mary, Fla., at 75-77152 complete the top five in the Girls Division.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior 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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
The final round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun at the Miromar Lakes Golf & Beach Club on Friday. For more information on the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers, please contact Greg Smith at (603) 568-4006.