MURRAY MAINTAINS LEAD HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND OF STA-GREENÂ® JUNIOR ALL-STAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Feng increases lead to five strokes at The Peninsula Club
CORNELIUS, N.C. â€” Grayson Murray, 14, of Raleigh, N.C., carded a 2-under-par 70 Thursday for a two-round total 7-under-par 137 to lead the Boys Division by one stroke at the Sta-GreenÂ® Junior All-Star Championship at The Peninsula Club. In the Girls Division, Yueer Cindy Feng, 12, of Orlando, Fla., followed her even-par 72 first round with a 5-over-par 77 to lead the field.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Sta-GreenÂ® Junior All-Star Championship is the one of nine events in the AJGA's 2008 Junior All-Star Series, a collection of tournaments specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15. The competition provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Sta-GreenÂ® Junior All-Star Championship features 99 players from 22 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The field consists of 81 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18. The Boys Division is playing The Peninsula Club par-72 course at 6,885 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 5,987 yards.
Murray began his round slowly, going 3-over-par in his first four holes, but bounced back with birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 to get back to just 1-over-par heading into the back nine. Birdies on Nos. 10, 15 and 18 helped propel Murray to a one stroke lead over Michael Johnson, 15, of Birmingham, Ala., who sits in second place with a two-day total of 138.
â€śI was putting good yesterday and today I couldn't make anything through the first seven holes,â€ť Murray said. â€śI came up to No. 8 and made a 15-footer [for birdie] so that really boosted me.â€ť
Trevor Cone of Concord, N.C., and Ben Fogler of Elgin, S.C., both jumped the leaderboard after posting 5-under-par 67s to place third and fourth respectively with two-round totals of 3-under-par 141 and 1-under-par 143. Will Murphy of Columbia, S.C., is also tied for fourth at 1-under-par 143.
In the Girls Division, Feng hit the ball well off the tee, but could not seem to get many of her putts to drop. Despite not playing as well as she would have liked, Feng still plans to keep her game plan.
â€śI'm still going to play the best that I can and focus on one shot at a time,â€ť Feng said.
Victoria Newbury of Williamsburg, Va., sits in second place after posting a 2-over-par 74 for a two-round total 10-over-par 154. Katie Kirk of Davidson, N.C., shot 8-over-par 80 to round out the top three.
The players in the Sta-GreenÂ® Junior All-Star Championship will look to follow the paths of notable juniors who played in Junior All-Star events and went on to become some of junior golf's greats, including Rolex Junior Players of the Year Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla. (2005, 2007), and Philip Francis of Scottsdale, Ariz. (2006).
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 complied 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.
The final round of the Sta-GreenÂ® Junior All-Star Championship begins Friday, June 20 with tee times running off the first tee from 7 a.m. to 11:48 a.m. at The Peninsula Club. For more information about the Sta-GreenÂ® Junior All-Star Championship, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (704) 896-7080, ext. 229.