- AJGA photo
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Sam Burns of Shreveport, Louisiana, carded back-to-back 66s to take a four-shot lead at the Thunderbird International Junior for a two-day total of 12-under-par 132. Maddie Szeryk of Allen, Texas, pulled out of a three-way tie in the Girls Division with a second-round 3-under-par 69 for a tournament-total 5-under-par 139.
Burns, who started the day one stroke off the pace, went bogey-free for 15 holes, tallying eight birdies and closing the round with a four-stroke lead. The 2015 graduate will be in a familiar position during Monday’s final round as he played in the final group of the 2013 event before finishing fourth.
“I just want to stay in the moment, do what I’ve been doing and make sure I stay positive,” said Burns, who last won at the 2011 Junior All-Star Invitational sponsored by NIKEGOLF.
“A lot can go on out there that I can’t control. I just have to stay positive and give myself chances.”
Playing in the final group with Burns for the second day in a row will be China’s Andy Zhang of Reunion, Florida, and Zachary Bauchou of Forest, Virginia, who are tied for second at 8-under-par 136. In a three-way tie for fourth are Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Illinois, Theo Humphrey of Greenwich, Conneticut, and Nathan Jeansonne of Keithville, Louisiana.
Making her first appearance at the Thunderbird International Junior, Szeryk used a five-hole birdie streak on Nos. 7-11 to assume sole possession of the Girls Division lead. Szeryk, who has three wins on her AJGA record, looks for her first Invitational victory and will head into the final round with a two-stroke lead.
“I was really confident in my golf today,” Szeryk said. “I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m going to try and focus on each shot and not think about the outcome. It’s just a tournament and I’m going to go out and play.”
Rounding out the Girls Division were Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, and Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas, who share second at 3-under-par 141.
Final-round tee times will run from 7:15-9:15 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Grayhawk Golf Club. For more information about the Thunderbird International Junior, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 616-4412.
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