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Glynns Creek Golf Course
Long Grove, Iowa • July 17 - 20

DiGrazia holds lead in Girls Division by six

LONG GROVE, Iowa — Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, Va., followed his first-round 69 with a 4-under-par 68 to move to a tournament total of 137 at the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities, taking a 2-shot lead. Gianna DiGrazia of Addisson, Ill., put together another round of 73 to stay on top of the Girls Division through two rounds.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities is being held at Glynns Creek Golf Course. The tournament is a 54-hole stroke-play event that hosts a field of 83 players. Twenty-three states are represented in the field that consists of 68 boys and 15 girls, ages 12 — 15.

The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 — 15 years old. The competition provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into open tournaments. The series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, Sept. 1 — 3, 2006 in Aurora, Ore.

Beck, 15, said he played as well as he did Tuesday, but was able to make a few more putts.

“I hit 16 greens and started making putts,” Beck said.

Starting on No. 10, Beck was able to par his first five holes and then birdied the next four to shoot a 32. He said he feels good going into the final round of his third Nike event of his AJGA career.

“If I can keep hitting the ball the same,” Beck said, “I should play well.”

In second place of the Boys Division is Kyle English of Bloomington, Ill., at 139. Paul McConnell of Garland, Texas sits in third place at 140. In fourth place is Alexander Lyall of Novi, Mich., at 141, and Nicholas Losole III of Scottsdale, Ariz., holds the fifth position at 142.

In the Girls Division, DiGrazia shot a one-over-par 73 to move to 146 for the tournament.

“I was able to save my irons with my short game,” DiGrazia said. “My recovery shots were a lot better today. I was able to get out of trouble.”

DiGrazia, 15, started on the back nine and worked her way through the course until a 3-hour weather delay interrupted her last hole of the afternoon, leaving her a four-foot putt for birdie.

“It didn't affect my game,” she said of the delay. “I just practiced four-footers before I went back out.”

Once play resumed, she made her birdie putt.

Lauren English of Bloomington, Ill., is in second place at 152, and Alexis Holmes of Lincoln, Neb., sits in third place at 153.

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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual 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, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural 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, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.

Final-round tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday off Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information about the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities, call (563) 285-6635.