BACK TAKES SECOND-ROUND LEAD HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND
Kim takes two-stroke lead into final round at Longbow Golf Club
MESA, ARIZ.- James Back of Cerritos, Calif., came out firing in Saturday's second round to lead the Boys Division by four strokes at the Heather Farr Classic presented by Longbow Golf Club. In the Girls Division, Kimberly Kim of Hilo, Hawaii, ended the day at 2-over-par 73 to take the lead by two heading into Sunday's final round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Heather Farr Classic presented by Longbow Golf Club is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Longbow Golf Club. The tournament field represents 96 boys and 48 girls, ages 12-18, from 14 states and three foreign countries. Twenty Rolex Junior All-Americans are featured in the field. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 course at 7,001 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,150 yards.
Heading into the day in second place, Back trailed first-round leader Jeff Wibawa by one stroke. Starting the day with a vengeance, Back carded two birdies in his first two attempts. Back would remain 2-under-par until No.6 where the trouble began. Bogeying the par-4, Back followed No. 6 with two more bogeys and a birdie. Making the turn at even par, Back knew he needed some consistency.
“After the first two holes I just wanted to play par golf,” said Back. “I was just cruising down and on the back I found a few missing links from the front side.”
Gaining composure from the tee, Back was able to card five birdies on the back side to put himself ahead of the field and position himself in the leader group for Sunday morning.
Following Back in second with a two-day total of 3-under-par 139 is Mario Clemens of Beverly Hills, Calif. A three-way tie for third place rounds out the Boys Division with Ben Itterman of Carlsbad, Calif., Patrick-Reilly McMahon of Santa Maria, Calif., and Andrew Yun of Chandler, Ariz., all at 2-under-par 140.
With a rough backside start to the day, Kim, who won the event in 2007, carded three pars and one double bogey before finding her first birdie on the par-4 14th. Kim would go on to par twice more, birdie No. 16 and finish the nine with a triple bogey — ending the backside at 2-over-par 73.
“I wanted to quit after I ended the back at two over,” said Kim. “I had birdie opportunities on all the holes on the back, but just didn't turn it into anything.”
With tough weather conditions in the morning, Kim tried to focus on what was working for her game and rebounding from her mistakes.
“I like playing in the rain,” Kim said. “I like hitting bad shots only to follow them up with great shots.”
Kim steadied her play on the front side with three more birdies, ending the round for a two-day total of 145. Kim will look to capture the title for the second time in Sunday's final round.
Trailing Kim by two strokes and joining her in the leader group Sunday is Ani Gulugian of Irvine, Calif. Kaira Martin of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif., are both tied for third with scores of 6-over-par 148.
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 50 states and more than 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 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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 - 8:48 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Longbow Golf Club. For more information about the Heather Farr Classic presented by Longbow Golf Club, please contact Ashley O'Dell in the AJGA Communications Department at (256) 504-6385.
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