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Anthem Country Club
Henderson, Nev. • June 8 - 11

The claims the lead at the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker

HENDERSON, Nev. — Tad Murray of La Quinta, Calif., posted a 36-hole total of 77-69-146 to sit at 2-over-par heading into Thursday's final round of the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker. Tessa The of Los Altos, Calif., shot a 4-over-par 76 on Wednesday to take the lead in the Girls Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Anthem Country Club. The tournament field features 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 11 states, Mexico and Canada. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,360 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,331 yards.

Playing with two of the first round leaders, Joseph Stewart of Palm Desert, Calif., and Payne Deman of Riverwatch, Tenn., Murray kept his composure and played his game. He started off strong with a birdie on No. 1 and he kept the momentum going all day long recording birdies on holes 6, 10, 14 and 18. His only bogeys came on Nos. 8 and 17. He attributes his steady play to great ball striking.

“I didn't make any big mistakes out there,” Murray said. “I made some good putts for par which always helps the scorecard.”

Nipping at Murray's heels in a tie for second are Stewart, Tad Darland of Henderson, Nev., AJ McInerney of Henderson, Nev., and Seiji Liu of Beverly Hills, Calif., each shooting a 3-over-par 147.

In the Girls Division, The will take a one shot lead into the final round Thursday. Her ball striking was nearly flawless as she hit 15 of 18 greens on the round, although her putter wasn't where she wanted it to be. Despite the fact that there is a lot of added pressure taking the lead into the final round she's not going to change her strategy of how she plays the golf course.

“I don't play against people,” The said. “I play against the course.”

Sitting one shot back are Dana Finkelstein of Chandler, Ariz., and the Weaver sisters, Lauren and Lindsey, of Scottsdale, Ariz., each with a two day total of 9-over-par 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 25 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 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 for the Las Vegas Junior Open presented by The Pacemaker will run from 7:30- 9:18 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Thursday at the Anthem Country Club. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 315-3446.