KISHIGIAN'S 9-UNDER-PAR TOTAL LEADS BY FOUR IN ROME
Kim leads Girls Division with two-under-par total
ROME, Ga. — Benjamin Kishigian, 18, of Warner Robins, Ga., fired a 6-under-par 64 Wednesday to lead the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic by four strokes going into the final round. Joy Kim, 14, of Duluth, Ga., fired the tournament-low Girls Division score of 5-under-par 66 to move to 2-under-par for the tournament and take the lead by two shots.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic features 99 players, 74 boys and 25 girls, ages 12-18 from 13 states and Peru. Forty-four juniors come from the host state of Georgia. The 54-hole stroke play event is in its 10th year at Coosa Country Club. While the Boys Division par is 70, the Girls Division par for the course is 71.
Kishigian led by two after a 3-under-par 67 in round one, and got his second round off to a hot start by birding Nos. 2 and 3, and then pitching in from 40 yards to eagle the par-5 fourth hole.
“Four-under on three holes was pretty good,” Kishigian said.
Kishigian went on to shoot 4-under-par 31 on the front nine despite not hitting a fairway.
“I just kept hoping I would have a shot to the green and most of the time I did,” Kishigian said.
Playing out of the rough is something Kishigian said he recently got used to while qualifying for the U.S. Amateur at The Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga., where the rough was especially long.
“I just swing as hard as I can and most of the time it comes out pretty straight,” said Kishigian, who made five birdies, a bogey and an eagle on his round.
In second and four strokes off the lead is Michael Perlmutter of Rockville, Md., who shot a 4-under-par 66 for a tournament total of 5-under-par 135. Tied for third are Nuno Henriques of Bradenton, Fla., and Whit Roper of Athens, Ga., at 1-under-par 139 for the tournament. Tied for fifth with tournament totals of even-par 140 are Alex Boyd of Augusta, Ga., Wes Carter of Hoover, Ala., and Wes Roach of Knoxville, Tenn.
Kim said she hit the ball better in her first round, when she hit 14 greens-in-regulation, but said her improved putting led to her low second round.
“I wouldn't have been happy with a score any higher than this today,” said Kim, who needed only 24 putts during her second-round.
Kim capitalized on her close approach shots Wednesday, making seven birdies on her round, including three-in-a-row on hole Nos. 11, 12 and 13.
“[Wednesday] I made up for missed chances during the first round,” Kim said.
Two strokes behind the leader is Jillian Brodd of Knoxville, Tenn., who shot a second round of 2-over-par 73 for a tournament total of even-par 142. Jennifer Johnson of Carlsbad, Calif., is in third and three strokes off the lead with a tournament total of 1-over-par 143.
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 Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic will begin at 7:21 a.m. Thursday at Coosa Country Club off the No. 1 tee. For more information about the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic call tournament headquarters at (706) 232-3380 Ext. 382.