SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Jorge Garcia of Miami posted back-to-back 4-under-par 68s to capture the lead at the Thunderbird International Junior. Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y., turned in an even-par 72 to finish atop the Girls Division after the second round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Thunderbird International Junior is a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72, Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club. The event features 48 boys and 30 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states and 14 countries. The Boys Division is playing the course at 7,112 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,342 yards.
Garcia entered the second round two shots off the pace, but quickly gained momentum after a birdie on the par-4 No. 2. He added three more birdies to his card en route to a front-nine 3-under-par 33.
“I’ve been playing really well the past few days and I really like the course,” said Garcia, who won the 2013 Puerto Rico Junior Open sponsored by Sport Link. “I was able to hit some shots really close today and had good looks for birdie.”
The rising junior capped off his round with two more birdies on the back nine before finishing at 4-under-par 68 for the day, 8-under-par 136 two-day total.
Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., chipped in for eagle on No. 18 to sit in second place at 5-under-par 139. Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas, and first-round leader Luis Fernando Barco of Lima, Peru, are tied for third at 4-under-par 140. Rounding out the top five are Scott Scheffler of Dallas and Christopher Petefish of Scottsdale, Ariz., at 3-under-par 141.
In the Girls Division, AJGA Player Representative Morales was tied for second after the first round and was two shots back of the lead. After making the turn at 1-over-par 37, she converted birdies on Nos. 12 and 16 to finish at even-par 72. She will enter Monday’s final round at 2-under-par 142.
“It was a grind today with the heat,” said Morales, a Rolex Junior All-American and 2011 Polo Golf Junior Classic Champion. “I was trying to pace myself and not let my missteps get to me. I only looked at the scoreboard once and I tried to not let external factors get to me.”
One stroke back is Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., at 1-under-par 143. First-round leader Marthe Wold of Sandnes, Norway sits in third at even-par 144.
View results for AJGA Thunderbird International Junior Golf Championship