Plenty of golfers in striking distance heading into final round of AJGA Hilton Head Junior All-Star

July 22, 2010 

No, the mismatched golf gloves Zach Botts is sporting this week during the American Junior Golf Association's Hilton Head Junior All-Star event are not the Jonesborough, Tenn., native's idea of a fashion statement -- they're a necessity, because Botts is playing hurt.

But you wouldn't know it from looking at the leaderboard.

Despite nasty gashes on his right hand and wrist, Botts is on the cusp of his first AJGA victory after shooting 1-under-par 71 on Berkeley Hall Club's South Course on Wednesday to move to 1 over for the tournament and take a one-stroke lead into today's final round.

First-round leader Reona Hirai of Summerville extended her advantage to five shots in the girls division, posting a 1-over-par 73 to sit at 2 under for the tournament.

Botts, whose family has been vacationing on Hilton Head Island for two decades, was climbing on a rocky area at the beach Sunday afternoon, when he fell and sliced his right hand and wrist on an oyster bed.

The cuts made it almost too painful to swing a club Monday, Botts said, but the injury has healed quickly and the extra glove has helped alleviate the pain enough for Botts to make his way to the top of the leaderboard.

Botts has plenty of company near the top, though. Jordan Batchelor, Rigel Fernandes, Ramsey Touchberry and Tyler Moore all sit within one shot, and five more players sit two shots back. First-round leader Rodrigo Munoz posted an 82 and is tied for 23rd.

"I'm proud to have the lead right now," Botts said, "but I certainly need to play better tomorrow, because there's a lot of people at 2 over."

A birdie at the par-5 ninth hole -- Botts' last hole of the day -- got him one shot clear of the pack at 2 over. And even though the birdie putts haven't fallen as often as he would like, Botts is in good position to claim his first AJGA title, especially if he can dial in his irons to provide more realistic birdie opportunities.

Entered the final round with the lead is a somewhat unfamiliar experience for Botts, but one he relishes.

"Hopefully I can deal with it well," Botts said, noting his biggest victory to date was at the PGA Tennessee Section's Junior Championship last month. "I certainly know what I need to do, and I know I can do it. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

The view from the top of the leaderboard will be starkly different for Hirai, who entered the day with a one-shot advantage but ended the afternoon five shots clear of Alexandra White of Honolulu, Hawaii.

After a bogey-free 69 in the opening round, Hirai stumbled twice Wednesday, making bogeys at the par-5 17th and the par-5 sixth, but bounced back with a birdie at the par-4 seventh and pars on her final two holes to finish strong.

Hirai said her play from tee to green suffered Wednesday, but her short game often bailed her out. She will have even more margin for error today.

"I think if I just keep getting pars, I should be fine," Hirai said. "I just want to shoot even par. That was my goal for this tournament.

"I'm just going to play my own game and keep doing what I've been doing for the past two days."

SCORES

Scores after Wednesday's second round of the AJGA Hilton Head Junior All-Star, played on the par-72 South Course at Berekeley Hall Club.

BOYS

Zach Botts 74-71--145

Jordan Batchelor 72-74--146

Rigel Fernandes 71-75--146

Ramsey Touchberry 73-73--146

Tyler Moore 75-71--146

Timothy Colanta 75-72--147

Corey Carlson 73-74--147

Daniel Jaramillo 73-74--147

Matthew Plunkett 74-73--147

Mills Poynor 73-74--147

Joe Philaphet 78-70--148

Thomas Walsh 76-72--148

Tony Mak 75-73--148

Ben Dietrich 75-73--148

Bobby Jacobs 79-69--148

Austin Morrison 73-76--149

Wade Chen 75-74--149

Davis Morrison 77-73--150

Michael Pisciotta 74-76--150

Matthew Beringer 71-79--150

Brandon Pierce 78-73--151

Matthew Cribb 75-76--151

Ben Schlottman 79-73--152

Rodrigo Munoz 70-82--152

Kyle Sterbinsky 78-74--152

Preston Heyward 76-77--153

Bernardo Curbelo 77-76--153

Tyler Young 75-78--153

Scott Jaster 76-77--153

William Gordon 77-77--154

Christian Cichan 83-71--154

Cole Berman 79-75--154

Osama Khan 74-80--154

Kyle Austin 78-76--154

Taylor McCullum 79-76--155

Cole Hunsucker 77-78--155

Bennett Wisner 82-74--156

Derrick Villarreal 79-77--156

Ethan DeForest 81-75--156

Dillon Woods 74-82--156

Eric Edwards 74-82--156

Tanner Owen 79-77--156

William Register 81-76--157

Christopher Gonzalez 78-80--158

Gavin deFisser 83-75--158

Zachary Martin 76-82--158

Noah Edmondson 80-78--158

Ryan Lamb 77-81--158

Dylan Patscot 83-77--160

Terrence Zhang 79-82--161

Nate Strigenz 85-78--163

Bryson Nimmer 79-86--165

Steven Tanen 88-79--167

Sibo Yan 82-86--168

Harrison Brown 83-86--169

Bret Howey 87-84--171

Stuart Smith 84-87--171

Jason Rhodin 87-86--173

William Voetsch 90-84--174

Will Miles 104-94--198

GIRLS

Reona Hirai 69-73--142

Alexandra White 75-72--147

Rachel Dai 70-80--150

Michaela Owen 74-76--150

Sammi Lee 75-80--155

Lauren Gros 76-81--157

Elizabeth Kim 80-80--160

Marianna Zanghetti 79-83--162

Sarah Harrison 82-80--162

Tatum Jackson 80-82--162

Helen Kim 83-81--164

Sara Riascos 82-86--168

Mary Ellen Shuman 80-88--168

Kensington Wieland 85-85--170

Rachel Oates 87-87--174

Allison Shilling 90-87--177

Madi Mae West 92-95--187

TEE TIMES

Tee times for today's final round of the AJGA Hilton Head Junior All-Star, to be played on the par-72 South Course at Berekeley Hall Club. All times a.m.

No. 1 tee

7:30 -- William Register, Burlington, N.C.; Christopher Gonzalez, Coconut Creek, Fla.; Gavin deFisser, Gilbert, Ariz.

7:39 -- Dillon Woods, Jacksonville, Fla.; Eric Edwards, Salisbury, N.C.; Tanner Owen, High Point, N.C.

7:48 -- Bennett Wisner, Hampstead, Md.; Derrick Villarreal, Hartland, Wis.; Ethan DeForest, Cottikill, N.Y.

7:57 -- Kyle Austin, Mebane, N.C.; Taylor McCullum, Hoover, Ala.; Cole Hunsucker, Kennesaw, Ga.

8:06 -- Christian Cichan, Charlotte, N.C.; Cole Berman, Rosemont, Pa.; Osama Khan, St. James, Barbados

8:15 -- Elizabeth Kim, Martinez, Ga.; Marianna Zanghetti, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Sarah Harrison, Martinez, Ga.

8:24 -- Michaela Owen, Alpharetta, Ga.; Sammi Lee, Winter Park, Fla.; Lauren Gros, Gainesville, Fla.

8:33 -- Reona Hirai, Summerville, S.C.; Alexandra White, Honolulu, Hawaii; Rachel Dai, Suwanee, Ga.

8:42 -- Tony Mak, Richmond, B.C., Canada; Ben Dietrich, Conover, N.C.; Bobby Jacobs, Valparaiso, Ind.

8:51 -- Mills Poynor, Birmingham, Ala.; Joe Philaphet, Riverdale, Ga.; Thomas Walsh, High Point, N.C.

9:00 -- Corey Carlson, Green Cove Springs, Fla.; Daniel Jaramillo, Medellin, Colombia; Matthew Plunkett, St. Augustine, Fla.

9:09 -- Ramsey Touchberry, Bradenton, Fla.; Tyler Moore, Escondido, Calif.; Timothy Colanta, Monroe Township, N.J.

9:18 -- Zach Botts, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Jordan Batchelor, St. Johns, Fla.; Rigel Fernandes, Bradenton, Fla.

No. 10 tee

7:30 -- Zachary Martin, Pinehurst, N.C.; Noah Edmondson, Davidson, N.C.; Ryan Lamb, Easley, S.C.

7:39 -- Dylan Patscot, Wales, Wis.; Terrence Zhang, Orlando, Fla.; Nate Strigenz, Fond du Lac, Wis.

7:48 -- Bryson Nimmer, Bluffton, S.C.; Steven Tanen, Syosset, N.Y.; Sibo Yan, San Diego, Calif.

7:57 -- Harrison Brown, Marietta, Ga.; Bret Howey, Nazareth, Pa.; Stuart Smith, Knoxville, Tenn.

8:06 -- Jason Rhodin, Asheville, N.C.; William Voetsch, New Vernon, N.J.; Will Miles, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

8:15 -- Tatum Jackson, Mountain Brook, Ala.; Helen Kim, Gilbert, Ariz.

8:24 -- Sara Riascos, Bogota, Colombia; Mary Ellen Shuman, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Kensington Wieland, Loudon, Tenn.

8:33 -- Rachel Oates, Rye, N.Y.; Allison Shilling, New Canaan, Conn.; Madi Mae West, Anderson, S.C.

8:42 -- Austin Morrison, Charlotte, N.C.; Wade Chen, Orlando, Fla.; Davis Morrison, Charlotte, N.C.

8:51 -- Michael Pisciotta, Alpharetta, Ga.; Matthew Beringer, Macon, Ga.; Brandon Pierce, Covington, La.

9:00 -- Matthew Cribb, Roswell, Ga.; Ben Schlottman, Advance, N.C.; Rodrigo Munoz, Bradenton, Fla.

9:09 -- Kyle Sterbinsky, Yardley, Pa.; Preston Heyward, Duluth, Ga.; Bernardo Curbelo, Bradenton, Fla.

9:18 -- Tyler Young, Kennesaw, Ga.; Scott Jaster, Bryn Mawr, Pa.; William Gordon, Davidson, N.C.

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