THREE REMAIN TIED AT MCDONALD'S BETSY RAWLS GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP
Hurst, Lendl and McCloskey each tally even-par in second day of action at White Manor Country Club
MALVERN, Pa. Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., Marika Lendl of Bradenton, Fla., and Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, maintained their position atop the leaderboard Wednesday during the second round of the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship. The trio has accumulated a two-day total of 1-under-par 141, and they hold a one-stroke lead over the competition going into the final round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke-play tournament being held at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, Pa., and is one of 10 AJGA Invitationals in 2006. The 76-player field includes girls from 20 states, Canada, Japan and Thailand. Within the tournament field, there are 30 Rolex Junior All-Americans and 17 are in the top 20 of the AJGA rankings. Past champions of the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Junior Championship include Grace Park, Christie Kerr, Beth Bauer and Morgan Pressel.
Hurst played a consistent round of golf, beginning the day with birdies on her first two holes. Hurst was able to hit fairways and greens all round long, putting her in position to go into the final round in a three-way tie for first place.
Today I played a steady round, Hurst said. I did not play exceptionally well, but I did not play bad either. My short putts were good, but my lag putting needs some work this afternoon.
Hurst has earned two titles already this summer at the Mirasol Junior Championship and the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan. She is now looking to acquire the first major title of her career.
I have played with both Marika and Lisa before, Hurst said. I want to play my own game tomorrow and try to birdie the par-5s. Today did not feel like a tournament round. Tomorrow will be more intense from a mental standpoint, especially because this is the Betsy Rawls.
Lendl also registered a birdie on her first hole of the day and continued her hot-streak by chipping in on the par-4, 400-yard No. 13 and posting another birdie on No. 14. She has tallied seven birdies throughout the two rounds.
I didn't hit the ball as well as I did yesterday and I was not as accurate with my drivers or irons, Lendl said. My putting was still good though.
Lendl is looking to claim her first major title after already garnering top honors at the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic earlier in the summer.
Tomorrow I need to play my own game, Lendl said. I have played with Vicki before, but not Lisa. I only need to worry about myself.
With iron shots working in her favor, McCloskey recorded a 1-under-par 34 front nine and a 1-over-par 37 back nine en route to her even-par round of 71.
I need to keep on doing what I have been doing these first two rounds, McCloskey said. I need to not get discouraged with any mistakes.
McCloskey has seen her fair share of leaderboard time, as she has already claimed one title this summer at the Valero Texas Junior Shootout and placed second at the Fidelity Investments Junior Championship.
I am playing pretty well right now, the sophomore-to-be said, I think I can give Vicki and Marika a good battle.
Tied in fourth with tournament totals of even-par 142 are Kristina Wong of Vestal, N.Y., and Cydney Clanton of Concord, N.C. Stacey Kim of Columbus, Ga., sits alone in sixth place with a tournament total of 143. In a three-way tie for seventh are Lindy Duncan of Plantation, Fla., Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, and Sara Hurwitch of Potomac Falls, Va., with two-day totals of 145. Tied for 10th with 147s are Isabelle Lendl of Bradenton, Fla., and Calle Nielson of Nashville, Tenn.
Clanton and Joanne Lee of San Carlos, Calif., each registered 4-under-par 67s, giving them the women's competitive course record. Emma Jandel of Dayton, Ohio, recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3, 138-yard No. 8.
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, 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
Final-round tee times will run from 8-10 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Thursday, July 27. For more information about the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship, please call tournament headquarters at (610) 540-0276.