PRESSEL AT 6-UNDER-PAR, BROADENS LEAD TO FIVE SHOTS AT BETSY RAWLS
Joy Kim in the hunt at 1-under-par after second round
MALVERN, Pa. â€” In pursuit of her fifth-consecutive AJGA Invitational crown, Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., strengthened her first-round lead with a second-straight round of 3-under-par 68, leaving her at 6-under-par 136 and five shots clear of the field at the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship. Joy Kim of Duluth, Ga., sits in second place at 1-under-par 70-71â€”141, the only other sub-par 36-hole score.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship is a 54-hole stroke-play invitational that features 57 of the world's best female junior golfers from 15 states and one foreign country. The field includes 18 Rolex Junior All-Americans and eight 2005 AJGA tournament champions. The White Manor Country Club, home to the 1981-86 LPGA Tour McDonald's Classic and the Champions Tour's 1991 Bell Atlantic Classic, is hosting the event for the second-straight year.
Pressel survived the opening four holes before recording four birdies over her final 13 holes. After bogeying No. 3 and jarring a par-saving 20-footer on No. 4, the four-time Rolex Junior All-American said she knew the course still offered birdie opportunities.
â€śI just reminded myself to stay in good tempo and that I had plenty of holes left,â€ť Pressel said. â€śAny lead is good. Tomorrow I need to combine it all and see if I can extend it.â€ť
After hitting 17 greens in regulation and 13 fairways in the first round, Pressel managed to find 12 greens and 10 fairways in her second-round 68.
â€śI putted better â€” okay, but not great,â€ť Pressel said. â€śTomorrow I need to give myself more opportunities and stay in my rhythm.â€ť
Joy followed her opening-round 70 with an even-par 71 for second place, and joins Pressel as the only two players under par.
2005 Rolex Tournament of Champions winner Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., trails by seven shots and sits in third at 72-71â€”143. Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, enters Thursday's final round nine shots back at 73-72â€”145, while Angela Oh of Maple Shade, N.J., sits in fifth at 71-76â€”147.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501c(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.
Final-round tee-times will run from 7-10 a.m. at the White Manor Country Club. For more information on the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (610) 540-0276.