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Shore, Hammer lead AJGA Junior Players Championship
Davis Shore
Davis Shore
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Marc Hammer and Davis Shore played in the final group Saturday, and they’ll have the last tee time again Sunday at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Shore and Hammer carded the same score for the second day in a row, as second-round 70s have given them 6-under-par totals and a one-stroke lead heading into the final round on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course.

In cooperation with the PGA TOUR, the American Junior Golf Association has brought 78 players, ages 13-18, from 20 states and 15 countries to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for a special junior golf experience. The 7,190-yard course setup and hole locations for Saturday’s second round matched that of the third round of the 2015 PLAYERS Championship.

Hammer, a 16-year-old from Oetigheim, Germany, closed Saturday’s second round with a bogey-free 33 on the back nine. Birdies on Nos. 11, 14 and 16 kept him atop the leaderboard and in position to be the first international invitee to win The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf.

“I’m just going to try to play my game. Tomorrow I want to hit more fairways and greens,” said Hammer, who finished sixth at the 2015 RB German Junior. “I played with the co-leader and he really played good on the back nine and made some putts so it’s going to be tough.”

Shore, a 17-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, fell two strokes off Hammer’s pace after the German birdied the 481-yard par-4 14th, the third-hardest hole on the day. But Shore rallied and pulled even by day’s end after making birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 17.

“On 14 my swing started to click. I birdied 15 with a good putt, on 16 I hit a good shot and chipped it close, and on 17 I made a long putt,” said Shore, who is currently No. 8 in the Polo Golf Rankings and has verbally committed to the University of Alabama. “That was a pretty neat stretch, one that I probably won’t forget for a while. It was pretty cool to make three birdies there.”

Koichiro Ishika of Kakogawa, Japan, and Garrett Barber of Stuart, Florida, each shot 68, the lowest score of the day. Ishika improved nine spots and is tied for 13th at 1-over-par, while Barber is 5-under-par and earned a spot in the final group with Hammer and Shore.

Joaquin Niemann of Santiago, Chile, is fourth at 3-under-par, while Andrew Kozan of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and Viktor Hovland of Oslo, Norway, are tied for fifth at 2-under-par.

Final-round tee times run from 8:10 – 10:10 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

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