Gerard Holds Two-Stroke Lead at Erie Junior Golf Classic
Campbell and Herr share lead heading into final round at The Kahkwa Club
ERIE, Pa. — Matthew Gerard of Rocky River, Ohio, followed up his opening-round 3-under-par 68 with a second-round 2-under-par 69 to take a two-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Erie Junior Golf Classic. First-round leader, Talia Campbell of Dallas, is joined by Erica Herr of New Hope, Pa., atop the leaderboard in the Girls Division at 3-over-par 145.
The Erie Junior Golf Classic is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at The Kahkwa Club. The 98-player field features 74 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-71 course at 6,518 yards while the Girls Division is playing at 6,045 yards.
Through two rounds Gerard has been able to consistently put the ball in play and capitalize on his wedge game to make birdies. Gerard has birdied the first two holes in each of the first two rounds.
“I've had a lot of wedges in my hands the first two days and have been able to stick a lot of those shots really close,” Gerard said. “Tomorrow, I have to just keep the ball in play and get some of my wedges up-and-down for birdies.”
Zachary Toste of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Meechai Padungsiriseth of Bradenton, Fla., are in second at 3-under-par 139. Ryan Cole of Mount Airy, Md., is alone in fourth at 2-under par 140. In a tie for fifth are Nicholas Palladino of Highland Heights, Ohio, and Zachary Herr of New Hope, Pa., at 1-under-par 141.
In the Girls Division, strong putting and iron play have led to seven birdies through two rounds for Herr, who will be looking for her first AJGA victory.
“My irons and putting have been working really well for me this week,” Herr said. “My putting is what has been getting me the birdies. I have been making almost everything inside of fifteen feet.”
Campbell, who will be looking to earn her second AJGA win, grinded her way to a second-round 4-over-par 75.
“Today's round was interesting for me,” Campbell said. “I didn't have my best game out there today, but mentally I was able to stay in there and my short game saved me.”
Joyce Kim of Carlsbad, Calif., and Stephanie Liu of Fernandina Beach, Fla., are tied for third at 6-over-par 148.
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.
Final-round tee times for the Erie Junior Golf Classic will run from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at The Kahkwa Club. For more information about the Erie Junior Golf Classic please contact Tournament Director Courtney Jones at (678) 617-9406.