ORLANDO LEADS AJGA JUNIOR AT NEW CASTLE AFTER 3-UNDER-PAR 69 IN SECOND ROUND
Rohanna, Benavides duplicate results from round one, lead Girls Division by four at New Castle Country Club
NEW CASTLE, Pa. β Gregor Orlando of Erie, Pa., used a second round 3-under-par 69 to lead the Boys Division by one stroke at New Castle Country Club. First round co-leaders, Rachel Rohanna of Waynesburg, Pa., and Susana Benavides of Bradenton, Fla., shot identical rounds of 1-over-par 73 for the second straight day to co-lead the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at New Castle is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at New Castle Country Club. The tournament field consists of 98 players, 75 boys and 23 girls from 20 states, Canada and Thailand. The Boys Division is being played at 6,577 yards and the Girls Division at 5,987 yards.
Orlando used a second straight day of good putting to make three birdies on the front nine. However, birdie opportunities on Nos. 12 through 16 did not accumulate.
βI was within 15 feet multiple times on the back,β Orlando said. βThese greens are tricky to read, I couldn't get any to drop.β
Although his iron shots did not end up as close to the hole as they had in the first round, Orlando was still pleased with the results, mostly because of his shots off the tee.
βIf you can keep it in the fairways then you'll probably have a good score,β he said. βMy tee shots have been very good this week and that is a large part of the reason I'm where I'm at.β
Andrew Knox of Cary, N.C., fired a 5-under-par 67 and sits in second after two rounds at 141. Andrew Kim of Lake Mary, Fla., is close behind at 2-under-par 142. Tied for fourth at 1-under-par 143 are Patrick Leisure of Charlottesville, Va., and Ryan Vince of Charlotte, N.C.
Rohanna and Benavides both struggled with putting in round two but still find themselves atop the leaderboard headed into the final round.
βI had 35 putts today and still shot 1-over-par,β Rohanna said. βI had to two-putt the par-5's coming in for birdies to get to 1-over.β
It was Rohanna's tee shots that kept her competitive throughout the day.
βMy driver was so much better today than yesterday,β she said. βIt kept me comfortable and confident and today that really helped me.β
Benavides went back and forth around even-par throughout the second round.
βI never got below par today, I was back and forth from 1-over to even,β Benavides said. βI was at 2-over-par at one point and then went birdie, birdie to get back to even, so that was my biggest comeback,β she said.
Both competitors hope to go for more during the final round and end up on top.
βI hope to jump on the front nine a little more so that I'm not pushing so much on the back side,β Rohanna said.
βMy concentration is going to be strong tomorrow and with that I will think I will putt better,β Benavides said.
In third in the Girls Division is Amy Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich., carding rounds of 73-77β150.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 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 tee times will run from 7 β 11:48 a.m. Thursday off the No. 1 tee. For more information about the AJGA Junior at New Castle please contact tournament headquarters at 724-654-6689.