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Hawthorn Woods Country Club
Hawthorn Woods, Ill. • July 23 - 26

Kirby uses strong start to take lead in Girls Division at Hawthorn Woods Country Club

HAWTHORN WOODS, Ill. — Jace Long of Dixon, Mo., continued his strong play at the Midwest Junior Players Championship Wednesday, firing a 4-under-par 68 in the second round at Hawthorn Woods Country Club to sit at 9-under-par 135 for two days. Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ontario, leads the Girls Division by one stroke, posting a 3-over-par 147 two-day total.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Midwest Junior Players Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Hawthorn Woods Country Club. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls from 18 states and two foreign countries. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,912 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,133 yards.

Long, who is tied for 51st in the current Polo Golf Rankings, started with a bogey on the first hole, but rebounded by making birdie on No. 3 and recording his second eagle of the week on the par-5 No. 7, Long is looking forward to tomorrow and hopes to record his second win of the season.

“I didn't hit the ball well off the tee today, but I was able to scramble and hit my irons well,” Long said. “I feel good about tomorrow. I'm going to go practice on the driving range, then get some putting in and get ready for the final round.”

Scott Langley of St. Louis is two strokes back in second after carding his own 4-under-par 68 in the second round to post a two-day 7-under-par 137. Adam Sumrall of South Bend, Ind., is in third at 6-under-par 138. Vincent India of Deerfield, Ill., and Jae Han Chun of Ansung-City, South Korea, are tied for fourth at 4-under-par 140.

Kirby carded a 1-over-par 73 in the second-round to move to the top of the leaderboard in the Girls Division. Kirby started very strong, opening with three straight birdies and finished with a 4-under-par 32 on the front nine. After not making a single birdie in the opening round, Kirby was relieved to finally get some birdies on her scorecard. While she struggled on the back, she still plans to stick to her game plan and hopes to go low in the final round.

“I came out strong today, I was sticking my irons and making the putts,” Kirby said. “The important thing on this course is to get on the greens in regulation. There are so many birdie opportunities on this course, so tomorrow I just can't let one bad hole affect me.”

Alexandra Lederhausen of Hinsdale, Ill., is one stroke back of Kirby with a two-day total of 6-over-par 148. Jamie Lavin of Deerfield, Ill., is in third at 6-over-par 150.

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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 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. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.

Final-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. Thursday off the No. 1 tee at Hawthorn Woods Country Club. For more information about the Midwest Junior Players Championship, please contact tournament headquarters at (847) 847-847-3267, extension 267 or visit ajga.org.