FIRST AMERICAN TITLE AVILA JUNIOR CLASSIC
Avila Golf & Country Club
July 14, 2004
FLORIDA NATIVE RUCAREAN HOLDS ONE-SHOT LEAD ENTERING FINAL ROUND
White still holds top spot in Girls Division
TAMPA, Fla. – Tyler Rucarean of Gainesville, Fla., carded his second consecutive 2-under-par 70 for a two-round total of 140 to take the top spot on the Boys Division leaderboard of the First American Title Avila Junior Classic at the Avila Golf & Country Club. In the Girls Division, Dolores White of Lakeland, Fla., shot a 2-over-par 74 for a tournament total of 71-74-145 and a two-shot lead heading into Thursday’s final round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the First American Title Avila Junior Classic features 84 players, 66 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18 from 13 states and Peru. The 54-hole stroke play event is in its fifth year at the Avila Golf & Country Club.
Rucarean made four birdies during a strong front nine en route to a 32-38—70 on Wednesday.
“Going into the round, I focused on just playing the same way that I did yesterday. This is my fourth time in this tournament, so I have gotten to know the course well,” Rucarean said. “There are a lot of birdies available out there so I just have to stay away from the bogeys. I have to continue to take advantage of the par-5s tomorrow.”
Following only one stroke behind Rucarean is first-round leader Lion Kim of Lake Mary, Fla. Carding a 35-37—72 on the day, Kim sits one-shot back at 141 entering Thursday’s final round.
“I struggled with some close putts again today, so I have had to rely on my strong driver and iron game this week,” Kim said. “I plan on playing it safe tomorrow and taking it hole-by-hole. I have to focus on playing the course smart.”
In third place is Raj Nahal of Longwood, Fla., with a 72-74—176. Tied in fourth place entering the final round with a two-day total of 148 are Justin Jones of Jacksonville, Fla., Alan Lee of Lima, Peru, Gavin Chambre of Orlando, Fla., Billy Horschel of Grant, Fla., and Matthew Galloway of Valrico, Fla.
Dolores White of Lakeland, Fla., finished the round with a two-day total of 145. After a disappointing bogey on her first hole, she redeemed herself by chipping in for birdie on No. 2.
“I am usually really uptight when I play, but this week I have been able to keep my head straight and stay relaxed,” said White. “I seemed to scramble a lot today, though. I was lucky that my chipping really came through for me.”
Sitting just two strokes behind the leader is Orlando’s Jacqui Concolino. Carding a 36-38—74 on the day, the 16-year-old has a two round total of 147 entering the final round.
“Dolores and I have been playing golf together for a while and so we know each others game pretty well. She is such a consistent player, hitting fairways and greens all the way,” Concolino said about her competitor. “I am far from consistent but I can always seem to get out of bad lies. I am just going into the round with the goal of shooting 69 to bring me to even par for the tournament.”
Within striking distance of the leaders heading into Thursday’s final round are Jessica Yadloczky of Casselberry, Fla., shooting 77-75—152, and Danielle Jackson of Seminole, Fla with 76-78—154.
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 has a membership 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 the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
The final round of the First American Title Avila Junior Classic will start off of Nos. 1 and 10 tees at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. For more information on the First American Title Avila Junior Classic, please contact AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (813) 968-7191.