HONG JUMPS INTO SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST AT RANDY WISE JUNIOR OPEN
Campbell, Armstrong still battle for first at Flint Elks Lodge 222 Golf Club
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Michael Hong of Fullerton, Calif., played solidly Thursday at the Randy Wise Junior Open to stay atop of the Boys Division by one stroke after carding an even-par 72 in the second round. Talia Campbell of Dallas and Ashley Armstrong of Flossmoor, Ill., enter the final round tied at 1-under-par 143.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Randy Wise Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Flint Elks Lodge 222 Golf Club. The tournament field consists of 75 Boys and 23 Girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states and Canada. The par-72 course is being played at 6,932 yards for the Boys Division and 6,115 yards for the Girls Division.
Hong struggled on the front nine and was two-over-par making the turn to the back nine.
“I had the first tee time of the day and had to wake up early. I could not make any putts on the front nine,” Hong said. “On No. 4, the hole location was really tough because if you hit short the ball will roll to the fringe and if your ball goes to the left it will roll off the green. I hit my third shot off the green but chipped it on and made an eight foot downhill putt to save par.”
Hong hung on for the back nine and didn't make any three putts. He made birdies on Nos. 11, 12, and 18 to finish 2-under-par 34 on the back-nine. On his last hole of the day, he sank a 30 foot putt for birdie to shoot even-par 72 for the round.
“Tomorrow, I hope to shoot really well again and win the Scotty Cameron putter cover,” Hong said. “I haven't been playing well until now and it feels good!”
Tyler Kato of Seattle, enters the final round in second place with a two-round total of 2-under-par 142. Rounding out the Boys Division in a tie for third place are Joey Garber of Petoskey, Mich., Grant Weaver of Wooster, Ohio, and Matthew Felsenfeld of West Bloomfield, Mich., at 1-under-par 143.
In the Girls Division, Campbell's putting left her many opportunities to make par to card an even-par 36 on the front nine and 1-over-par 37 on the back nine.
“On No. 7, I short-sided myself on my first two shots but was able to get up and down for par,” Campbell said. “After that I felt confident and had a boost of energy.”
Campbell's toughest hole of the round came on No. 8 after she pushed her iron shot way right and then chipped over the bunker. She made the downhill putt to save par.
“The course is in great condition, the ball stopped nicely on the greens,” Campbell said. “Tomorrow I plan to stay positive and play against the course, not the other competitors.”
Armstrong struggled with her putting today, but her driver allowed her to still hold on to a tie for the lead.
“Today was a struggle. I three-putted my first two holes and felt shaky over my putts all day; nothing would drop,” Armstrong said. “I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities on the front nine but would miss the putts.”
Armstrong's best hole of the day came on the par-5, 490 yard No.4. After she hit a really good drive she hit her 4-wood to 4 yards short of the green. Her third shot hit the flagstick and bounced once. From there she tapped in for birdie.
“No. 4 is a tricky hole with a rolling back to front green,” Armstrong said. “My drives were good all day; I plan to work on my putting game.”
In sole possession of third place is Amy Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich., at 2-over-par 146.
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 for the Randy Wise Junior Open will run from 7 a.m.-12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee Friday, August 7 at Flint Elks Lodge 222 Golf Club. For more information about the Randy Wise Junior Open, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (810)743-9440 or visit ajga.org.