EAST WENATCHEE — Andrew Whalen, a rising junior at Ephrata High School, surged up the leaderboard during the second round of the American Junior Golf Association tournament at Wenatchee Golf & Country Club on Wednesday, and enters today’s final round tied for third place.
Whalen shot a 68 on Wednesday, powered by three birdies on the back nine.
He is two-under for the tournament at 142, but is seven strokes back of leader Zak Griffiths, who fired a 69 on Wednesday.
Combined with a 66 he shot Tuesday, Griffiths, a native of Red Deer, Alberta, has a commanding lead in the three-day tournament.
Whalen, whose younger brother Aaron, 13, is tied for 18th at 148, said that eliminating simple mistakes allowed him to improve on his first-round 74.
“I was missing putts and not hitting greens in the first round,” he said. “I just didn’t make those mistakes today. I wasn’t really disappointed with the first round. I just knew I could do a little better.”
Chelan’s Kelli Bowers also made a run up the standings on Wednesday afternoon, rebounding from a first-round 81 to fire a 75 in the second round.
Bowers is at 12-over for the tournament, and trails leader Kendall Prince by 12 strokes. She sits in 11th place overall.
Prince, from Lake Oswego, Ore., is even for the tournament at 144.
“I want to control the speeds of my putts and give myself opportunities to go low,” Prince said in a statement released by the AJGA.
Bowers, who will play at the University of Washington next season, was 1-under going into the turn, but triple-bogeyed No. 10.
“I played much better than yesterday, and was a little more focused. I putted well for the first half (of the round) then kind of fell apart after that,” Bowers said. “On the 10th hole I guess I just got the yips a little bit and I had three three-putts in a row.”
Leilanie Kim is one stroke behind Prince for the lead in the girls’ division, and Sierra Bezdicek of Colbert is six back at 150.
Brian Adamowsky: 664-7157