Thai golfer charges into lead at Long Cove

June 17, 2010 

Ariya Jutanugarn watches her tee shot on hole No. 14 during Wednesday’s second round of the AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championship at Long Cove Club. Jutanugarn leads the tournament by two strokes heading into today’s final round.


Ariya Jutanugarn and Yueer "Cindy" Feng spent most of their round Wednesday distancing themselves from the pack. Then Jutanugarn used a strong finish to put some breathing room between herself and Feng.

With two birdies in her last three holes, Jutanugarn posted a 3-under-par 68 for the second day in a row, taking a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the AJGA's Rolex Girls Junior Championship at Long Cove Club.

Feng is alone in second after a 1-under 70, and Anne Cheng and Kyung Kim are tied for third at even par, six shots off the lead. Cheng will join Jutanugarn and Feng in the last group off No. 1 tee at 9:18 a.m. today.

For the second consecutive round, Jutanugarn made five birdies to go with two bogeys. She was a bit inconsistent on the back nine, allowing Feng to pull even with a birdie at the par-5 15th, but she rallied for birdies on the 16th and 18th. On both holes, she bombed her drive into the fairway, knocked her approach shot within eight feet and drained the putt.

"I think yesterday my driver was better," Jutanugarn said, "but today my irons were good."

The No. 19 player in the Polo Golf Rankings, Jutanugarn doesn't have an AJGA win to her credit yet, but she's no stranger to big-time tournaments. The native of Bangkok, Thailand, twice has qualified for the Honda LPGA Thailand -- and made the cut both times -- including once in 2007, when at age 11 she became the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA event.

Barring something remarkable, she'll be in a two-girl race with Feng today. With only four rounds under par Wednesday, it seems unlikely the rest of the field will make up the gap. Nonetheless, neither Jutanugarn nor Feng intend to alter their strategy today.

"Out here, I'm not really focusing that much on competing against others," Feng said. "It's a test against myself, so I'll just try to play better tomorrow and see what happens. If she plays well tomorrow, she deserves to win, but if she doesn't, then we'll see what happens."

At No. 4 in the Polo rankings, Feng is the second-highest ranked player in the field, and she might also be the hottest. A native of China who lives in Orlando, Fla., Feng is coming off a successful title defense at the Thunderbird International Junior three weeks ago in Scottsdale, Ariz.

After three consecutive bogeys at Nos. 6-8, she picked up some momentum on the back nine Wednesday, making birdies at the par-4 10th, the par-3 13th and the par-5 15th to grab a share of the lead, but she couldn't capitalize on birdie chances on the last three holes.

The local contingent didn't fare well Wednesday. Hilton Head Island resident Ri Hyang Park shot 77 to fall eight spots to a tie for 24th at 8 over, and Bluffton High School standout Samantha Buchanan is tied for 63rd at 17 over after carding an 81.

Scores after Wednesday's second round of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Long Cove Club. Par: 71. Yardage: 6229. Rating: 76.8. Slope: 139.

Ariya Jutanugarn 68-68--136

Yueer Cindy Feng 68-70--138

Anne Cheng 73-69--142

Kyung Kim 71-71--142

Manuela Carbajo Re 68-75--143

Tiffany Lim76-68--144

Emily Tubert 72-72--144

Erynne Lee 71-73--144

Alison Lee 70-74--144

Karen Chung 74-71--145

Ginger Howard 72-73--145

Nicole Zhang 72-73--145

Mariah Stackhouse 69-76--145

Stephanie Meadow 73-73--146

Gabriella Then 71-75--146

Marijosse Navarro 70-76--146

Casie Cathrea76-71--147

Moriya Jutanugarn 71-76--147

Hana Lee 77-71--148

Kelly Shon 74-74--148

Monifa Sealy 75-74--149

A.J. Newell 75-74--149

Viviana Macias 72-77--149

Robbi Howard 75-75--150

Risa Murata 75-75--150

Doris Chen 75-75--150

Esther Lee 78-72--150

Marika Liu 74-76--150

Ri Hyang Park 73-77--150

Mariana Sims 73-77--150

Victoria Tanco 70-80--150

Szu-Han Chen77-74--151

Mayko Chwen Wang 76-75--151

April McCoy 77-74--151

Samantha Wagner 74-77--151

Collins Bradshaw 74-77--151

Kelli Oride 74-77--151

Aurora Kan 73-78--151

Jaye Marie Green 77 -75--152

Daffodil Sanchen 75-77--152

Juliet Vongphoumy 77-75--152

Emily Collins 79-74--153

Kyle Roig76-78--154

Heather Proctor 78-76--154

Elizabeth Doty 79-76--155

Ana Raga 75-81--156

Jordan Lippetz 78-78--156

Monica Umpant 78-78--156

Amira Alexander 78-78--156

ValeriaMacias 82-74--156

Maria Maymon 76-81--157

Lauren Kim 77-80--157

Janie Jackson 77-80--157

Elizabeth Breed 78-79--157

Anne Marie Covar 79-78--157

Kendall Martindale 82-75--157

Kaira Martin 77-81--158

Mikayla Harmon 79-79--158

Briana Mao 79-79--158

Gabriela Lopez 80-78--158

Portland Rosen 81-77--158

Rene Sobolewski 83-75--158

Allison Emrey 78-81--159

Samantha Buchanan 78-81--159

Sun Gyoung Park 81-78--159

Irene Jung 84-75--159

Silvia Garces 83-77--160

Bethany Wu 81-81--162

Talia Campbell 81-82--163

Sierra Sims 81-83--164

Lauren Diaz-Yi 84-80--164

Kaitlyn Rohrback 85-79--164

Saki Okamura 81-84--165

Michelle Butler 80-86--166

Yugene Lee 84-82--166

Taylor Manning 83-85--168


Tee times for today's final round of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Long Cove Club. All times a.m.

No. 1 tee

7:30 -- Aurora Kan, Szu-Han Chen

7:39 -- Samantha Wagner, Collins Bradshaw, Kelli Oride

7:48 -- Mayko Chwen Wang, April McCoy, Doris Chen

7:57 -- Ri Hyang Park, Mariana Sims, Victoria Tanco

8:06 -- Esther Lee, Marika Liu, A.J. Newell

8:15 -- Viviana Macias, Robbi Howard, Risa Murata

8:24 -- Hana Lee, Kelly Shon, Monifa Sealy

8:33 -- Marijosse Navarro, Casie Cathrea, Moriya Jutanugarn

8:42 -- Mariah Stackhouse, Stephanie Meadow, Gabriella Then

8:51 -- Karen Chung, Ginger Howard, Nicole Zhang

9:00 -- Emily Tubert, Erynne Lee, Alison Lee

9:09 -- Kyung Kim, Manuela Carbajo Re, Tiffany Lim

9:18 -- Ariya Jutanugarn, Yueer "Cindy" Feng, Anne Cheng

No. 10 tee

7:30 -- Jaye Marie Green, Daffodil Sanchez

7:39 -- Juliet Vongphourny, Emily Collins, Heather Proctor

7:48 -- Kyle Roig, Elizabeth Doty, Jordan Lippetz

7:57 -- Amira Alexander, Valeria Macias, Maria Maymon

8:06 -- Lauren Kim, Janie Jackson, Ana Raga

8:15 -- Elizabeth Breed, Monica Umpant, Anne Marie Covar

8:24 -- Portland Rosen, Kendall Martindale, Kaira Martin

8:33 -- Mikayla Harmon, Briana Mao, Gabriela Lopez

8:42 -- Rene Sobolewski, Allison Emrey, Samantha Buchanan

8:51 -- Irene Jung, Sun Gyoung Park, Silvia Garces

9:00 -- Bethany Wu, Talia Campbell, Sierra Sims

9:09 -- Lauren Diaz-Yi, Kaitlyn Rohrback, Saki Okamura

9:18 -- Michelle Butler, Yugene Lee, Taylor Manning

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