BACK LEADS BY ONE IN QUAD CITIES
Wenglasz shoots even-par for lead of Girls Division
Long Grove, Iowa — James Back of La Habra, Calif., carded a 1-over-par 73 for a tournament total of 141 to maintain control of the Boys Division at the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities. In the Girls Division, Whitney Wenglasz of Oldsmar, Fla., fired an even-par 72 for a two-day total of 146 to take control of first place.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Glynns Creek Golf Course. The tournament features 65 boys and 17 girls from 20 states, Mexico and Canada. The Nike Golf Junior All-Star series allows players ages 12-15 to develop their skills and earn entry into other AJGA tournaments.
Back shot a 35 on the front nine and a 38 on the back side with one birdie. Although the 14-year-old is heading into the final round with the lead, Back was disappointed with his performance on the course.
“I felt like I hit 80-something today,” Back said. “I kept it straight but I couldn't make a lot of shots.”
Back felt he struggled most with his putting. He left several birdie opportunities out on the greens and needed 32 putts on the day. Back said he plans to practice his short game and make sure he keeps the ball in play during the final round.
Aidan Javed of Laurinburg, N.C., shot an even-par 72 for a tournament total of 142 and sole possession of second place. Tied for third with two-day totals of 144 are Wilson Bowen of Winnetka, Ill., John Gregory Joseph of Valdosta, Ga., and Jordan McLaurin of Ironton, Mo.
Wenglasz's 72 consisted of a 37 on the front nine and a 35 on the back side. The 14-year-old felt the key to her round was solid drives and approach shots, but she was less than satisfied with her putting.
“I felt my putting was so-so today,” Wenglasz said. “I would make a birdie, then three-putt the next hole.”
Despite some struggle on the greens, Wenglasz made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 that she felt boosted her momentum. She had four birdies on the day. Her strategy for the final round is to go out and play consistently.
First round co-leaders In-Ah Park of Las Vegas, Nev., and Alisha Matthews of St. Louis, Mo., stand in second and third place respectively. Park shot a 1-over-par 73 for a tournament total of 147 and Matthews carded a 2-over-par 74 for a two-day total of 148.
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, the largest Association of its kind, 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 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.
Final-round tee times begin off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. For more information about the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities, call tournament headquarters at (563) 285-6635.