CLEVELAND JUNIOR OPEN
Red Tail Golf Club
Avon, Ohio •
June 28 - July 1
AVON, Ohio --
results from the Cleveland Junior Open conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Red Tail Golf Club.
Boys Par: 36-36--72. Yardage: 6954. Rating: 74.7. Slope: 135 Girls Par: 36-36--72. Yardage: 6151. Rating: 76.6. Slope: 138
Ruffino Fights His Way to Top of Leaderboard at Red Tail Golf Club
Harper holds onto lead heading into final round at the Cleveland Junior Open
AVON, Ohio — Despite an up-and-down day, Francesco Ruffino of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., battled to back up his opening-round 72 with a 3-over-par 75 Wednesday to take a two-shot lead heading into Thursday's final round. In the Girl's Division, Allison Harper of Columbus, Ohio also turned in a 3-over-par 75 to keep her spot atop the leaderboard.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Cleveland Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Red Tail Golf Club in Avon, Ohio. The 120-player field features 88 boys and 29 girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia. The par-72 course is played from 6,954 yards in the Boys Division and 6,151 yards in the Girls Division.
With trouble on just about every hole at Red Tail, Ruffino knew he had to have a game plan heading into the week. On holes where the fairways were really tight, Ruffino focused on getting himself in good position for making pars by hitting 3-wood. On the holes that were more forgiving, he'd go for it with driver to get birdie opportunities and so far his strategy has paid off.
Ruffino shot even par in the first round and got himself into position for the win by staying near par in the second round.
“I don't think this course is really that easy,” Ruffino said. “I think there are a lot of difficult holes out there. I feel like, if I continue what I'm doing, then I'll have a good chance tomorrow.”
But even with a game plan in mind, Ruffino, who earned a tie for 12th last week at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior in his first AJGA event, still had to battle through some difficult stretches Wednesday. After grabbing a quick birdie on No. 1, he gave it right back with a bogey on No. 2, and before closing with seven straight pars, picked up another bogey and a double on No. 11.
“Today was a grind,” Ruffino said. “I had to fight through a lot of stuff. On one hole I'd kind of pull it, then I'd aim for the pull, and then I'd push it. My swing was a little bit off today.”
In second, right on Ruffino's heals at 5-over-par is Andrew Wong of Deerfield Beach, Fla. In third is Boo Timko of Girard, Ohio at 6-over-par. First-round leader Scott Smith of Pepper Pike, Ohio and Avon, Ohio local Beau Titsworth are tied for fourth at 7-over-par.
In the Girls Division, Harper, a 2010 graduate who is on her way to Marshall, said some much needed practice has helped her find a good place in her game of late after struggling to find success in previous years in AJGA events. After a third-place finish last week at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior, Harper stayed the course and within her own game to once again find herself near the top of the leaderboard.
“Everyone always talks about winning AJGA events because they're so prestigious,” Harper said. “It would be great to win. That's what I want, but you never know what's going to happen.”
Two back of Harper in second is Minjia Luo of San Diego, Calif. at 6-over-par. Linda Luo of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., and Laura Murray of Tipp City, Ohio are tied for third at 7-over-par.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Final-round tee times for the Cleveland Junior Open will start at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at 678-315-3446 or visit our website at ajga.org.
The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
What is Leadership Links?
Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.
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.