JONES AND STANLEY TIED AT 7-UNDER-PAR GOING INTO FINAL ROUND AT BAY HILL
Jones looks for first AJGA victory at HP Boys Junior Championship
ORLANDO — Josh Jones, 15, of The Colony, Texas, and Kyle Stanley, 17, of Gig Harbor, Wash., will be battling for the championship at the HP Boys Junior Championship Friday. Jones and Stanely ended Thursday tied at the top of the leader board with scores of 7-under-par 209.
The HP Boys Junior Championship is a 72-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, home of the PGA TOUR's Bay Hill Invitational. The par-72 layout is being played at 7,189 yards. Past Champions of the event include Tiger Woods (1992), David Duval (1989) and Jim Furyk (1987). The event, which features of 90 of the nation's premier junior boys, includes participants from 22 states, Chile, Colombia and Japan.
After two rounds, the field was cut to the top-40 players and ties, with the cut falling at 8-over-par 152.
Jones, who started out the day atop the leader board, struggled on the front with two bogeys and a double bogey. Jones caught fire on his back nine, firing consecutive birdies on Nos. 11, 12 and 13.
“My putter was really streaky,” Jones said. “I either made putts or missed three footers.”
Jones, who started out at 6-under shot a 1-under-par 71 for the day. He hit 13 greens-in-regulation and sits at the top of the leader board in hopes of clinching his first AJGA championship.
Stanley fired a 3-under-par 69 during his third round to share the spot at the top of the leader board. Starting the day at two strokes behind Jones, Stanley said he looks to continue to play aggressively during the final round.
“All I wanted to do today was get myself in position,” Stanley said. “I'm right where I want to be.”
Stanley carded three birdies Thursday, giving him 11 in 54 holes played this week. A lead change three times during the round continued to make things interesting for the small gallery that was following Stanley and Jones.
Alone in third place after a third-round 69 is Dan Rush of Avon Lake, Ohio, at 212. One stroke behind Rush at 213 is Jason Kang of Valencia, Calif., in fourth place.
Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., moved up two spots on the leader board from yesterday to finish the third round in fifth place at 214.
Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla., finished the third round in sixth place at 215.
After firing an impressive 69 for the round, Erich Johnston of Fort Wayne, Ind., sits in seventh place, tied with Mu Hu of Shen Zhen, China at 1-over-par 217. Tied in ninth place at 2-over-par 218 are Lion Kim of Lake Mary, Fla., Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla., and Samuel Saunders of Windermere, Fla.
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.
The final round of the HP Boys Junior Championship will begin at 7:00 a.m. Friday at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club and Lodge off of No. 1 tee. For more information about the HP Boys Junior Championship call tournament headquarters at (407) 876-8095.