AJGA Puerto Rico Open: Furuya leads
19 Jan 2014
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico — Ryoto Furuya of Wesley Chapel, Fla., shot a 3-under-par 69 for the second straight day giving him a tournament total 138 and a two-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Puerto Rico Junior Open.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Puerto Rico Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play competition featuring 72 boys, ages 12-18, from 18 U.S. states and 14 foreign countries, as well as eight players from Puerto Rico. For the fourth year in a row, the champion will be awarded a sponsor's exemption into the PGA TOUR's Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com, March 6-9. The par-72 Trump International Golf Club — Championship Course is playing 6,922 yards.

Consistent play so far this week has been the key for Furuya, 16. A bogey-free round today led to his second straight 69 and two birdies on his last two holes has his confidence high heading into the final round.

“The last two holes gave me a lot of confidence, especially with my putting,” said Furuya. “I made a couple 15-20-footers the last two holes for birdie. It really makes me ready for tomorrow and has my confidence up.”

With only 18 holes standing between Furuya and a PGA TOUR exemption he is trying to stay calm heading into the final round and not get too excited.

“I will be watching my fellow competitors and it almost feels like a match in match play, but I also don’t want to think too much and push myself too hard,” said Furuya. “I really just want to go out and have fun out there and hopefully the score will come.”

Nathan Zhao of Placentia, Calif., and Jorge Garcia of Miami, are tied for second at 4-under-par 140. In a four-way tie for fourth at 2-under-par 142 is Shotaro Onuki of Ibaraki, Japan, Jonathan Rector of Hendersonville, N.C., Luis Gerardo Garza of Leon, Mexico, and Jackson Lang of Lexington, Mass.

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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,500 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.

Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.

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