MINA, LEBOW AND CATLIN SHARE LEAD AT GOLF WORLD WEST COAST CHAMPIONSHIP
Harigae takes front spot at Castlewood Country Club
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Eric Mina of Fremont, Calif., Shane Lebow of Santa Barbara, Calif., and John Catlin of Carmichael, Calif., crowd the top of the Boys leaderboard at 1-under-par 139 after the second round Wednesday. In the Girls Division, Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., sits alone in first place at 2-over-par 144 after a one-over-par 72 second round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Golf World West Coast Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Castlewood Country Club. The 99-player field features juniors from eight states. The course is being played at 6,212 yards in the Boys Division and 5,718 yards in the Girls Division.
Mina, who will play for UC Berkeley this fall, closed the second round strong with a 2-under-par 33 on the back nine after recording a 5-over-par 40 on the front.
“Today was an up and down day,” Mina said. “But after a 40 on the front nine, I knew I was still in contention. So I capitalized on my birdie opportunities.”
Mina chipped in on No. 18 to end his day on a stellar note. Going into the final round, he said he plans to focus on hitting fairways and greens and staying patient.
“I'm not going to worry about scores or winning or losing,” Mina said. “I just want to play golf and execute each shot.”
Lebow also cleaned up on the back nine with a 5-under-par 30 after shooting 37 on the front nine to finish at 3-under-par 67 on the day.
“The whole round wasn't that good,” said Lebow. “But on the back nine I started making a lot of putts.”
Lebow sank one birdie on the front nine and five on the back, including one on the par-3 17th hole, which he said has been a trouble hole this week. He hit a 6-iron onto the green and sank the putt for birdie.
Also in the lead, Catlin was hitting the greens Wednesday, capturing a lot of par putts and four birdies total. Catlin said he plans to watch Tiger Woods' video Tiger's Prey for motivation before Thursday, as he does before every tournament he plays.
“I'm kind of anxious to get started,” Catlin said about the final round. “I can't wait to play. I'm just going to try to play well and see where it goes.”
Paul MacNamara III of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., is in fourth place at 1-over-par 141. Jake Bieber of Alamo, Calif., sits in second place at 2-over-par 142 after round two.
In the Girls Division, Harigae, the No. 1 rank Girls Junior in the Polo Golf Rankings, was feeling in top shape after a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 1. She made another 15-foot putt for birdie on No. 8 but said her round toughened up on the back nine.
“It's a really hard course because of all the elevated greens, which makes it difficult to measure distance,” Harigae said. “But I am hitting it on the green and making a lot of saves.”
Harigae said she thinks she can win the tournament if she plays consistent in the final round and plans to sharpen her short game before going into Thursday.
Alexandra Groetsema of Palo Alto, Calif., sits at second place after a 5-over-par 147 Wednesday. In third place, Chelsea Stelzmiller, of Placerville, Calif., rounds out the top of the Girls leaderboard at 6-over-par 148 following the second round.
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 49 states and more than 25 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 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 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 be from 7 — 11:48 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at Castlewood Country Club — Hill Course. For more information call (678) 617-2421.