KIM ATOP BOYS DIVISION AT NIKE GOLF JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Sheary looks for second victory of the season at Langdon Farms
AURORA, Ore.- After 36 holes of golf, Alex Shi Yup Kim of Fullerton, Calif., holds a one-stroke lead in the Boys Division at the Nike Golf Junior Championship. His opening rounds of 69-68 put him in position to take home the championship trophy Sunday. In the Girls Division, Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn., looks to take home her second American Junior Golf Association victory of the season. Her opening rounds of 74-72 give her a four-shot lead going into the final round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior Championship is being contested at Langdon Farms Golf Club. Seventy-six junior golfers, ages 12-15, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event, with 22 states and two foreign countries represented. The season-ending Nike Golf Junior Championship marks the conclusion of the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series schedule in 2005. The series began in 1998 and was designed to give younger AJGA members more opportunities to play competitive junior golf.
After starting the second round two strokes off the lead, Kim played another solid 18 holes in the afternoon to put him atop the leaderboard. With fast greens and difficult hole locations making the morning difficult, Kim was happy to get his putter rolling.
“I had trouble with my putter on the first few holes this morning,” said the 15-year-old. “After that, I got into a good rhythm and was able to play my best.”
Kim was able to make up some ground in the afternoon as his confidence level continued to build going into the final round on Sunday.
“I have been playing well lately,” stated Kim. “I'm really confident right now and I will try my best tomorrow.”
Bud Cauley of Jacksonville, Fla., sits one stroke off the lead in the Boys Division. With a two-round total of 140, Louis Amira of Valencia, Calif., and Alex Frankel of Atlanta, Ga., are tied for third. Rounding out the top five are Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash., and Jordan McLaurin of Ironton, Mo., with 1-under-par 141s.
In the Girls Division, Sheary holds a four-stroke lead over the field. After the morning round, Sheary was in a tie for first. She was able to use her solid drives to pull away from the pack and leave her alone in first after the second round.
“I was hitting my driver really well,” said Sheary. “This afternoon it was warmer, so the ball was able to roll further also.”
Sheary came in first earlier this season at the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior and hopes to keep her streak going on Sunday.
Sarah Brown of Stewartsville, N.J., and Kristen Hill of Weston, Fla., head into Sunday's final round tied for second with two-round totals of 150.
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 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, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
Final-round tee times begin at 8 a.m. Sunday off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Langdon Farms Golf Club. For more information about the Nike Golf Junior Championship, contact tournament headquarters at (925) 735-4253.