Monday, December 28, 2009

Manassero still leads Junior Orange Bowl

despite double bogey at short 14th

British amateur champion Matteo Manassero from Rome had to settle for a one-shot halfway lead after running up a double-bogey 5 at the short 14th in the second round of the Junior Orange Bowl international championships' boys' section over the Biltmore course, Coral Gables in Florida today.
Manassero, picture by courtesy of Tom Ward Photography, leader by two after an opening five-under-par 65, returned a level par 70 (33-37) for a 36-hole tally of five-under-par 135. His only other deviations from par were birdies at the short first and long eighth.
The Italian's closest challenger is now Tom Lovelady from Birmingham, Alabama with rounds of 69 and 67 for 136. Lovelady had halves of 34 and 33 in his flawless second round in which he birdied the fifth, 10th and 16th.
Europe provides three of the leading four players with a second Italian, Andrea Bolognesi, and French men's champion Romain Wattel sharing third place on 138. Both youngsters have shot 67 and 71.
England's Jonathan Bell is lying in joint 14th position in a field of 58 after rounds of 71 and 72 for 143.
There is a new leader in the girls' championship with Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand surging three shots clear on level par 140 after rounds of 71 and 69. She had five birdies in her second round, including the 16th and 18th in halves of 35 and 34.
Denmark's Daisy Nielsen who had shared the first-round lead on 69 with Moriya Jutanugarn (Thailand), had a nightmare 77, including two double bogey 6s in an outward half of 40. She has slumped to sixth place on 146.
Leading second-round scores
Par 140 (2x70)
135 Matteo Manassero (Ita) 65 70.
136 Tom Lovelady (US) 69 67.
138 Andrea Bolognesi (Ita) 67 71, Romain Wattel (Fra) 67 71.
140 Oskar Arvidsson (Swe) 70 70, Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 68 72, Jim Liu (US) 72 68, Brandon Ng (Can) 70 70, Justin Thomas (US) 69 71, Curtis Thompson (US) 67 73.
Selected score:
143 Jonathan Bell (Eng) 71 72 (jt 14th).

Par 140 (2x70)
140 Ariya Jutanugarn (Thai) 71 69.
143 Cindy Feng (US) 71 72, Moriya Jutanugarn (Thai) 69 74, Alexis Thompson (US) 71 72.
145 Monifa Sealy (T&T) 73 72.
146 Daisy Nielsen (Den) 69 77.
147 Jessica Korda (US) 75 72, Kyle Roig (Puerto Rico) 72 75.
148 Ana Arrese (Spain) 71 77, Laetitia Beck (Israel) 71 77, Kristina Odalyar (US) 71 77, Victoria Tanco (Argentina) 73 75.
149 Min-Young Lee (South Korea) 77 72.
+For all the scores, go to

Italy's Matteo Manassero, the British amateur champion and overnight leader, posted an even-par 70 second round for a single stroke lead at the halfway stage of the 46th edition of the Junior Orange Bowl International.
The 16-year old standout from Rome leads Alabama's Tom Lovelady, who carded a best-of-the-day 67, a round only equaled by Peru's Joaquin Lolas. In blustery conditions French Junior Champion Romain Wattel and Italy's Andrea Bolognesi remained tied in third place after posting 71s. Six are tied on even-par 140.
Manassero admitted he was probably fortunate to have held onto the top spot. “I played rather poorly but I saved my score by very good chipping and putting,” he said. “I'd like to hope I can play better than that in the coming rounds.” His sharp short game was highlighted by a holing a difficult sand shot for birdie at the 223yd par-3 8th hole..
On the other hand Lovelady, who missed last year's championship due to injury, and currently plays with a + 4.6 USGA handicap, made his move into contention with precision golf, a bogey-free 67 where his three birdies all came at par-4s.
“I drove well and set up a lot of straightforward wedge approach shots on good angles,” the 16-year old from Birmingham, AL, explained. “My putter was working well so in all it was a round without too much stress.”
In the girls section favorites Alexis Thompson and defending champion Victoria Tanco had unexpected setbacks, permitting 14-year old Ariya Jutanugarn to vault into the lead at ever par 140 (71, 69), three shots ahead of USA's Cindy Fong, Ariya's older sister Moriya and Thompson, all now tied for second place at 143.
3-under par for 17 holes, Thompson held the on-course lead with just the long uphill closing par-4 to complete. She reached the green in four after visiting two bunkers and then, perhaps failing to realize the severity of the green, took five putts, finishing with a 9 for 72. 2008 winner Tanco also failed to gain traction, sliding to eight shots off the pace with second-round 75.
Played over 72 holes strokeplay on the famed Donald Ross Biltmore GC, the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship is for boys and girls age 18 and under and features top young amateur golfers from around the world.

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