ITAMURA FIRES TOURNAMENT-LOW, 7-UNDER-PAR 65 TO TAKE LEAD
Chow cards 3-over-par 75 to gain Girls Division lead
OPELIKA, Ala. â€” Kyohei Itamura of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., grabbed the lead carding a personal-best, 7-under-par 65, 139 two-day total at the Junior All-Star at Grand National. Marissa Chow of Honolulu fired a 3-over-par 75 to pull away and take sole possession of the Girls Division lead.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, Junior All-Star at Grand National is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at the Grand National Golf Course â€” Lake Course. The 97-player field features players from 25 states and Canada. The course is being played at 6,759 yards for the Boys Division and 5,792 yards for the Girls Division.
Itamura, holding the lead for the first time in an AJGA event, carded eight birdies, nine pars and only one bogey.
â€śGoing into today, I was just hoping to get back to even par and then my putts just kept dropping like crazy,â€ť Itamura said. â€śI made a bunch of putts today. I kept leaving a bunch short yesterday but had good lines, so I was more aggressive today and they kept going in.â€ť
Tyler Smith of Brentwood, Tenn., sits in second at 70-71 â€” 141. In third, Landon Lyons of Baton Rouge, La. carded a 1-under-par 71 for the day. Peyton Vitter of New Orleans holds fourth place at 72-71 â€” 143. Chris Contreras of San Antonio posted a 1-over-par 73 to sit at fifth after two rounds.
In the Girls Division, Chow played consistent golf to pull ahead of the field by four strokes.
â€śI just played patient and didn't try to force anything,â€ť Chow said.
Junior All-Star at Grand National is Chow's second AJGA tournament. She finished second in June at Junior All-Star at Lake Havasu.
â€śI had a really good final round at Lake Havasu,â€ť Chow said. â€śI played solid golf in windy conditions to get into second there. I want to think about playing good golf no matter what tomorrow, just like I did there.â€ť
Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., is in second place posting 77-75 â€” 152. Kendall Martindale of Jefferson City, Tenn., sits in third with a 153 two-day total.
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 AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 25 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Final-round pairings will be from 7 - 11:39 a.m. Thursday off the No. 1 tee. For more information about the Junior All-Star at Grand National, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 485-1135.