ZIEGLER FIRES 5-UNDER-PAR 67 TO TAKE BOYS DIVISION LEAD
Huachai alone atop Girls Division leaderboard at Twin Orchard Country Club
LONG GROVE, Ill. — Steve Ziegler of Broomfield, Colo., and Nathada Huachai of Bangkok, Thailand, jumped to the top of the leaderboards Wednesday at the Midwest Junior Players Championship. Ziegler fired the low round of the tournament for boys with a 5-under-par 67, while Huachai also fired the low round for girls with a 1-over-par 73. Each leads their respective field by four shots.
The Midwest Junior Players Championship is a 54-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Twin Orchard Country Club's Red Course in Long Grove, Ill. The 99-participant field boasts juniors from 19 states, Thailand and Canada.
Ziegler birdied twice on the front-nine and four times on the back en route to his 5-under-par 67 for the day, including back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13. Ziegler's tournament total is 138, giving him a four stroke advantage over the field.
“I played well today, but it could have been better,” Ziegler said. “My ball striking was great. This is my first time leading an AJGA tournament, but I don't intend to change my routine. Tomorrow is just another round of golf.”
Ravi Patel of Naperville, Ill., sits four strokes back in second place with a tournament total of 142, while Samuel Chavez of Hillsborough, Calif., and Jordan Elsen of Kenosha, Wis., are tied for fourth with 146. Rounding out the top five are Illinois-natives, Vincent India of Deerfield and Michael Cermak of Chicago. Both have a two-day total of 147.
Huachai recorded three birdies on the front-nine making the turn one stroke under par. She closed out the round with a score of 1-over-par 73, giving her a tournament total of 150 and a four stroke lead.
“This is the first time I have led an AJGA tournament going into the final round,” Huachai said. “Today everything was working together. I was more comfortable and I regained the focus I didn't have yesterday.”
Elisa Aoki of Nagoya-City, Japan, sits alone in second place with a tournament total of 154. One stroke behind her in third place is Mays Landing, N.J.,-native, Joanna Coe. Coe has a two-round total of 155.
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, in 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The final round will be a 7 a.m. start off the No. 1 tee at the Twin Orchard Country Club's Red Course Thursday. For more information about the Midwest Junior Players Championship, please contact tournament headquarters at 847-634-3800.