ROBINSON, BEALL SHARE LEADER SPOT WITH MATCHING 2-OVER-PAR 142s
Gulugian leads Girls Division by three strokes at Marshallia Ranch Golf Course
LOMPOC, Calif. — Tye Beall of El Paso, Texas, joined first-round leader Bobby Lee Robinson of Mesa, Ariz., at the top of the Boys Division at the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch. The juniors shot 71 and 76 respectively for matching 142 tournament totals. In the Girls Division, Ani Gulugian of Irvine, Calif., claimed the spot atop the leaderboard with 73 for the day and a 5-over-par 149 tournament total.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch is being played at the Marshallia Ranch Golf Course. Seventy-six boys and 21 girls, ages 12 — 15, are competing on the par-72 layout. Six states and four countries are represented this week, including players from Canada, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
The Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch is part of the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series. The Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 - 15 years old. The Series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, Sept. 1 - 3, 2006.
Beall stayed consistent throughout his round, carding a 1-under-par 71 for the second day in a row despite hitting only four fairways. The 14-year-old had four birdies and Beall credits his mindset for his top finish after the second round.
“I have to stay calm,” he said, “and don't think, ‘just because you made bogey, it's the end of the tournament.'”
In May, Beall won the Nike Golf Junior at South Padre Island, but he is not taking his one-stroke lead lightly, noting his competition.
“It feels good because it's a pretty tough field,” he said.
Robinson hit an impressive 15 greens during the round. Although the rising freshman had changes in his score from the first round, Robinson did not waver on his overall outlook for the tournament.
“I don't have a different attitude today,” he said. “I feel confident.”
Fourteen-year-old Robinson carded one birdie to save par on the back nine and remained positive about the final round.
“Tomorrow, if I hit the same amount of greens, I'll shoot the same score as the first day,” he said. “I feel like I'm going to win. I'd be very excited to win any tournament.”
Niall Platt of Santa Barbara, Calif., sits in third with a 143 tournament total after the second round. Zeyu He of Reunion, Fla., Byeong-hun An of Seongnam, South Korea, and Taylor Travis of Fremont, Calif., are all tied in fourth place with even-par 144.
In the Girls Division, Gulugian felt comfortable throughout the day, gaining confidence on the greens and carding three birdies in the process.
“Everything was working today,” she said. “I made a lot more putts. I only had 29, compared to 34 yesterday.”
The 14-year-old finished the round with a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to earn her even-par 37 on the back nine. Although Gulugian now leads the division by three strokes, her approach for the final round does not change.
“I will keep going one shot at a time tomorrow,” she said.
Jaime Yam of San Diego and Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., are tied for second with matching 152 tournament totals.
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 is 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 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The final round of the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch begins at 7 a.m. Thursday at Marshallia Ranch Golf Course. For more information on the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch, contact tournament headquarters at (805) 606-6262.