RADA EDGES OUT MOLLICA AS LEADER HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND
Four South Carolina boys in top-5 at Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Patrick Rada of Anderson, S.C., moved in as the new Boys Division leader at the Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship with a second-round score of 6-under-par 66 bringing him to a two-day score of 8-under-par 136. Stacey Kim of Midland, Ga., stole the lead in the Girls Divison by posting a 2-under-par two-round score of 142.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship is being held at the Green Valley Country Club. Ninety-nine junior golfers from 20 states, China and Peru, including 20 from South Carolina, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.
Rada finished the back nine with a 5-under-par 31 and posted no bogeys in the second round. He said he did not get to use his putter as much as usually does. He holed out on No. 13 from 87 yards for eagle and chipped in for birdie on No. 14.
“I'd only had birdie up to that point,” he said. “It really got things rolling.”
Rada's 136 puts him one stroke ahead of Phillip Mollica, also of Anderson, S.C. The two have played head to head before in tournaments and attended the same high school. Because Rada and Mollica finished first and second after two rounds, the two former teammates will play against each other in the final round. Rada said he is going to try not to think much about who he plays with.
“I'm just hoping to hit the ball well,” he said. “I'm very confident in my game. I've worked hard on it and scores are finally starting to show that.”
Mollica falls out of the leader spot to second heading into the final round with a two-day score of 7-under-par 137. Mu Hu of Shen Zhen, China, is third with a 4-under-par 140. Luke Hopkins of Greer, S.C., finished with a 3-under-par 141 to claim fourth. Tied for fifth with 1-under-par 143s are Sam Lyons of Little River, S.C., and Daniel Burns of Statesville, N.C.
Kim had four birdies in the second round to post a 2-under-par 70. Heading into the final round as the leader does not phase her, she said.
“I'm not nervous. My game has been consistent throughout the year,” Kim said. “Everything's smooth. I hit straight off the tees and I've been able to have good lay-up shots that have allowed me to score.”
Blair Lamb of Flat Rock, N.C., and Catherina Wang of Orlando, Fla., are tied for second with 1-under-par 143s. Brittany Nelson of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the Girls Division first-round leader, is fourth with a 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 AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
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 Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
The final round of the tournament begins Thursday at 7 a.m. Tee times run through 11:48 a.m. For more information about the Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship, call tournament headquarters at (864) 246-3941