LIAO TIES WOMEN’S COURSE RECORD AT GRAYHAWK WITH A 5-UNDER
Three tied for lead at 4-under in the Boys Division
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Low scores prevailed Saturday at the Thunderbird International Junior as three juniors posted rounds of 4-under-par 68 in the Boys Division and the girls’ leader sits at 5-under-par 67. George Gandranata, Brendan Gielow, Seung Su Han are tied atop the leaderboard in the Boys Division, while Ki-Shui Liao tied the course record at Grayhawk Golf Club to lead the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 54-hole stroke play invitational features 100 players ages 12-18 from 21 states and 12 foreign countries. Of these 100 players, 76 are Rolex Junior All-Americans, including Rolex Junior Player of the Year and defending boys champion Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga.
In the Girls Division, Liao, of Alameda, Calif., tied the course record set last year by participant Brittany Lincicome of Seminole, Fla. The Rolex Junior All-American recorded seven birdies en route to 33-34—67.
“Most of my shots were less than 10 feet from the hole,” said the 16-year-old Liao. “I was just trying to stay out of the desert all day. I hit my approach shots well today. Tomorrow I just need to try to hit it straight and make my putts.”
One shot back at 4-under-par 68 is Azahara Munoz of San Pedro Alcantara, Spain. Rounding out the three is In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla., with a 3-under-par 69.
On the boys’ side, Gandranata, of Jakarta, Indonesia, shot 33-35—68 with six birdies, including a 27-footer on No. 9.
“I hit my driver decent today, my irons pretty well, but I putted awesome,” said Gandranata, a Rolex Junior All-American. “For tomorrow, I need to work on my driving. For the most part, I put it in the fairway today but I still need to work on some of my shots.”
Gielow, of Muskegon, Mich., fired 35-33—68 with seven birdies to work his way to the top of the leaderboard. The Rolex Junior All-American carded three straight birdies on Nos. 13-15.
The 2002 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and two-time All-American Han, of Bradenton, Fla., used nines of 35-33—68 to match his playing partner Gielow’s score. He carded his first career hole-in-one on No. 13 from 205 yards and finished with three birdies.
Sitting two shots back at 3-under-par 69 are Glenn Northcutt of Dothan, Ala., Ben Spickard of Roswell, Ga., and Lance Lopez of Missouri City, Texas.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501©(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 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 an 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, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.