Wu hopeful of fantastic finish in AJGA

St. Mary's standout leads by two strokes entering final round
Dylan Wu watches his putt attempt on Wednesday at Centennial Golf Club.Photo courtesy of AJGA

If what we've seen from Dylan Wu is the tip of the iceberg, the rest of the Boys Division in the AJGA Junior at Centennial Golf Club could be in for a jarring final round.

The Medford teenager shot a 3-under-par 69 in Round 2 Wednesday of the American Junior Golf Association 54-hole, stroke-play tournament. He leads by two shots entering the final 18 holes in the open field, which is for ages 12 to 18.

AJGA JUNIOR AT CENTENNIAL

RECAP: Dylan Wu, of Medford, plays steady throughout and shoots a 69 to lead by two shots entering today's final round. In search of his second AJGA triumph, he tees off at 8:50 a.m.

UP NEXT: Final round, today at 7 a.m. at Centennial Golf Club.

Play begins at 7 a.m. today, with Wu teeing off at 8:50 in the final group off the No. 1 tee.

Wu, who had a 70 in the first round, is 5 under with a 139 total.

Brian Humphreys, of Washougal, Wash., and Issei Tanabe, of Huntington Beach, Calif., are tied for second at 3-under 141. Ben Albin of Santa Fe, N.M., is another shot back and in fourth. Three others are at 143.

Wu started on the 10th tee, meaning he finished on the front nine, where several holes proved challenging because of afternoon wind. He parred his final six holes and expressed surprise over his lead.

"I thought maybe I'd be a stroke or two back," he said.

He might have been had Tanabe, who jockeyed for the lead most of the day, not made a triple-bogey 7 on his 16th hole.

Being the front-runner, Wu is eager to improve on what's he's already crafted.

The St. Mary's High senior-to-be, who has committed to play collegiately for Northwestern, said he was fine sleeping with the lead Wednesday night.

"It's always different," he said. "This is a course I feel comfortable with. I don't feel like I have to protect this lead. I know this is a course everybody can go low at. I've played here over 100 times. I've been in this situation where you're in contention the whole time. It feels good. It feels good to be back in contention, having a moment to make a putt and feeling confident and having the adrenaline rush.

"I'm pretty confident going into tomorrow. I feel like I can even play better. I feel like these two days have been only a glimpse of how I can play on this golf course."

He is seeking his second AJGA victory. His first was two years ago.

Wu birdied his first two holes, Nos. 10 and 11. He hit a 9-iron to 6 feet on the 10th and got up and down from a greenside bunker at the 11th.

His momentum stalled, however, when he gave a shot back on No. 12 despite having only 125 yards left to the flag. He finished the nine with birdies at Nos. 16 and 18.

A birdie on his 11th hole, the par-5 second, moved him to 4 under for the day, but a bogey followed.

From there, it was par city.

"I knew it was going to be tough out there in the wind," said Wu. "Holes 3 through 7 are all into the wind, all hard holes."

He didn't make any mistakes coming in, he said, and "hit some pretty good putts on some of those holes.

"I didn't make many long putts today. I didn't really have that many. But I thought I putted pretty well. Maybe a few more putts could have dropped. It would have been a low round."

That's what he's in search of today.

Ashland's Ramon Hedges, the only other local player in the field, shot 72 with a like number of birdies and bogeys — four each — and is tied for 24th place at 146.

First-day leader Nick Simmons was eight shots worse in Round 2 and is in a big group tied for eighth at 144. He had a 76 on Wednesday.

In the Girls Division, first-day leader Ziyi Wang, of Beijing, increased her lead with a 5-under 67. Her two-day score of 132 is 12 under and six shots better than second-place Haley Moore, of Escondido, Calif. Moore shot 68.

Mackenzie Perez, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and Jordan Ferreira, of University Place, Wash., are tied for third at 142.

AJGA Junior at Centennial

BOYS TOP 10

1. Dylan Wu, Medford, 70-69—139 -5

2. Brian Humphreys, Washougal, Wash., 71-70—141 -3

2. Issei Tanabe, Huntington Beach, Calif., 69-72—141 -3

4. Ben Albin, Santa Fe, N.M., 70-72—142 -2

5. Joe Harvie, Orting, Wash., 72-71—143 -1

5. C.J. Coleman, Manhattan Beach, Calif., 75-68—143 -1

5. Joe LaHorgue, Kentfield, Calif., 71-72—143 -1

8. Nick Simmons, Carmel, Calif., 68-76—144 E

8. Aaron Whalen, Ephrata, Wash., 72-72—144 E

8. Kyle Cornett, Mill Creek, Wash., 70-74—144 E

8. David Tottori, Las Vegas, Nev., 69-75—144 E

8. Joshua Gliege, Eagle, Idaho, 72-72—144 E

8. Riley Elmes, Lake Oswego, 76-68—144 E

8. Jake Staiano, Cherry Hills, Colo., 72-72—144 E

8. Bakari Bolden, North Hollywood, Calif., 70-74—144 E

8. Clarke Hudgins, Amarillo, Texas, 73-71—144 E

8. Ryan Gronlund, Pleasanton, Calif., 73-71—144 E

8. Jeffrey Miller, Phoenix, Ariz., 73-71—144 E

8. Lawrence Tu, Irvine, Calif., 74-70—144 E

Others

T24. Ramon Hedges, Ashland, 74-72—146 +2

GIRLS TOP 10

1. Ziyi Wang, Beijing, China, 65-67—132 -12


2. Haley Moore, Escondido, Calif., 70-68—138 -6

3. Mackenzie Perez, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., 71-71—142 -2

3. Jordan Ferreira, University Place, Wash., 71-71—142 -2

5. Patricia Wong, Walnut, Calif., 71-73—144 E

6. Sarah Archuleta, West Linn, 72-73—145 +1

6. Janet Zhang, Richmond, B.C., 74-71—145 +1

8. Sierra Kersten, Spokane, Wash., 76-70—146 +2

8. Kelly Lee, Chino Hills, Calif., 76-70—146 +2

10. Tyra Tonkham, Arleta, Calif., 72-75—147 +3

10. Jessica Luo, San Jose, Calif., 73-74—147 +3

10. Olivia Benzin, Tacoma, Wash., 72-75—147 +3

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com


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