If western New York is going to claim winners in the girls and/or boys divisions of the inaugural AJGA New Era Junior Championship at River Oaks golf club, it will be a come-from-behind story. In the girls bracket, Katie Kim added a 2nd-round 71 to her opening 73 to take a three-stroke advantage into Thursday’s third and final round. Her closest challenge, Maren Cipolla of Lewiston, tacked a Wednesday 73 onto her 1st-round 75. Chelsea Dantonio of Lancaster sits six strokes in arrears while Sara Riso of Hamburg is at 153, 8 strokes behind. The lead group of Kim, Cipolla and Emily Mills of New Jersey tees off hole #1 at 11:30 am on Thursday.
On the boys side of the draw, first round co-leader Michael VanDerLaan of Connecticut matched par while Ben Reichert of East Amherst could only manage a 75 on the day. That three-stroke gap represents the advantage that VanDerLaan will take into Thursday’s final round. The third member of round three’s final pairing is Seiya Liu of California. Liu also matched par on day two. In all, 14 players are within ten strokes of the lead, suggesting that round three should have its share of drama and fireworks.