Shim Shines in Rainy Ringgold
Consistency of Dai and York leads to tie at the top in Girls Division after second round at WindStone
RINGGOLD, Ga. — Not even a rainy day in Ringgold could keep Andy Shim of Lawrenceville, Ga., from piling up six birdies en route to a 2-under-par 68 and a one-shot lead after the second round of the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star. In the Girls Division, first-round leader Rachel Dai of Suwanee, Ga., and Lacie York of Kingsport, Tenn., are tied at the top at 1-over-par 141.
The Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star is one of 10 events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star is a 54-hole stroke play event held at the WindStone Golf Club. The tournament field features 75 boys and 24 girls from 21 states, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-70 course at 6,347 yards and the Girls Division is playing at 5,679 yards.
Shim, who medaled a week ago at the AJGA's Preseason Junior at Château Élan, brushed off a bogey-bogey start and a rain delay by knocking down five birdies on the back to close with 4-under-par 31 and finish with a two-day total of 137. Heading into Thursday's final round, Shim said his confidence is high, making him fully confident that he can be at the top of the leaderboard for the second straight week.
“I'm trying to win and I'm going to try to be consistent tomorrow because I think I'm in a good spot right now,” Shim said.
Lurking just one shot back of Shim is Brandon Pierce of Covington, La., who fired a tournament-low 66 with three birdies and an eagle on the front side Wednesday. Greyson Sigg of Augusta, Ga., William Martinez of Austin, Texas, and Christopher Guglielmo of Cumming, Ga., are tied for third at even-par 140.
York and Dai each backed up their consistent play from the day before. York followed up her 71 Tuesday with a 70 and Dai followed suit with a 70-71. As for York, she said the butterflies that come with leading won't bother her. She is instead really excited and is just looking forward to the opportunity.
“It would be great to win, especially in a tournament like this,” York said. “I'm just going to try to make putts and hit fairways and do what I did today.”
Dai shared similar thoughts and in just her third start, also relishes the chance at winning an AJGA event.
“I feel really calm heading into the final round, I'm not sure why, but I am,” Dai said. “I've never really been in this position before but it would mean a lot to win.”
GARY GILCHRIST GOLF ACADEMY, a full-time signature golf instruction program with campuses located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and in Arroyo Grande, Calif., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which provides juniors ages 12-15 access to national competitive golf opportunities.
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.
The final round will get under way Thursday with a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start at WindStone Golf Club. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 601-5196.