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Colonial Country Club
Jackson, Miss. • June 5 - 8

Beeler takes charge at her first American Junior Golf Association tournament, leads all girls

JACKSON, Miss. — Paul McConnell of Garland, Texas, and Brooke Beeler of Butler, Ill., continue to occupy the top spots of the Boys and Girls Division leaderboards at the Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau. Respectively, the two leaders fired a 3-under-par 69 and even-par 72, in Wednesday's second round.

The Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau is a 54-hole tournament conducted by the AJGA at Colonial Country Club in Jackson, Miss. The 80-player field boasts juniors from 19 states and South Korea. The Nike Golf Junior All-Star series allows players ages 12-15 to develop their skills and earn entry into other AJGA tournaments.

McConnell carded four birdies en route to a 3-under-par 69, including a birdie on the first and last holes. Going into the final round, McConnell has a tournament total of 139.

“Today I got off to a good start by birding the first hole,” said McConnell, who also took part in the 2005 Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau. “The birdie on No. 8 really got me going because it put me 3-under. I feel good and I just need to keep it up tomorrow. I'll work on my putting and chipping tonight.”

Sam Braver of Roswell, Ga., currently sits in second place, two shots back with a 141. Tied for third with a matching tournament total of 142 are Bloomington, Ill., native Kyle English and Will Ovenden of Spartanburg, S.C. Rounding out the top five with tournament totals of 145, is Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Ala., Devin Patel of Celebration, Fla. and Travis Ralph of Redington Beach, Fla.

Beeler, who is competing in her first AJGA tournament, tallied an even par 72 during the second round. She currently has a 146 tournament total and is seven strokes ahead of the competition.

“This is awesome to be leading,” Beeler said. “Everything is going great for me. Today I had one bad putt, that's it. My short game needs a little work, but overall I am pleased with my performance.”

Mary Michael Maggio, a Conway, Ark., native, jumped into second place with a 3-over-par 75 performance on Wednesday, giving her a tournament total of 153. One stroke behind Maggio in third place is Birmingham, Ala., native, Betsy Birchall. Birchall shot a 78 on Wednesday, putting her at 154 for the tournament.

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 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 drive 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 will be a 7:30 a.m. start on the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Colonial Country Club on Thursday. For more information about the Nike Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau, please contact tournament headquarters at 601-956-8567, or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.