Hong takes one-stroke lead into final round of Haas Family Invitational

Hong leads by one after third round of Haas Family Invitational
Kozan comes back with 5-under-par 65 Thursday

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Eugene Hong of Sanford, Florida, shot a 2-under-par 68 Thursday and maintained the Haas Family Invitational lead with a tournament score of 69-67-68—204. Andrew Kozan of West Palm Beach, Florida, carded a 5-under-par 65 and trails by one.

Hong maintained his lead with five birdies and an eagle on No. 5. Hong is looking for his first Invitational win and is honored to be in the lead going into the final round.

“It means a lot to be leading into the final round. I kind of struggled a little today because of the breeze, but I just tried to hang in there as long as I could and I got out with a 68,” Hong said. “I’m really happy with the way I played today and I hope I can finish strong tomorrow.”

Hong and Kozan have been battling for the lead since Tuesday, and finally, they both have a chance to be the Haas Family Invitational champion. This is not the first time that the dynamite duo has been paired together in a tournament.

“I played with Andrew at Thunderbird as well as the Wyndham Cup, so we know each other pretty well so it’ll be really fun tomorrow playing with him,” Hong said.

Kozan climbed up the leaderboard by making seven birdies, five of which were carded on the front nine.

“I played pretty well the last three days. Yesterday the driver was a little off, but I hit most of the fairways today. My putting was amazing again, so all in all it was a pretty fun day,” Kozan said.

Kozan played in this tournament last year and is excited about the position he is in going into the final round.

“All these players are fantastic, so I’m looking forward to going into tomorrow with a chance,” Kozan said.

Kaito Onishi of Irvine, California, trails by two with a tournament score of 67-72-67—206. Following Onishi is Karl Vilips of Wesley Chapel, Florida, with a tournament score of 70-68-70—208, and Michael Sanders of Davidson, North Carolina with a tournament score of 74-70-66—210

The 84-player field was cut to the low 60 and ties after the third round; 62 players qualified for the final round with scores of 17-over-par or better. The final round of the Haas Family Invitational begins June 17 at 7:45 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees.

About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-18) of nearly 6,500 members from 49 states and more than 50 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Sedgefield Country Club | Boys Par: 35-35–70. Yardage: 7107. Rating: 75. Slope: 143

1. Eugene Hong, Sanford, Fla. (2018) 69-67-68–204
2. Andrew Kozan, West Palm Beach, Fla. (2017) 67-73-65–205
3. Kaito Onishi, (Japan) Irvine, Calif. (2017) 67-72-67–206
4. Karl Vilips, (Australia) Wesley Chapel, Fla. (2020) 70-68-70–208
5. Michael Sanders, Davidson, N.C. (2018) 74-70-66–210
6. Reese Ramsey, Austin, Texas (2017) 75-66-71–212
6. Wilson Furr, Jackson, Miss. (2017) 73-68-71–212
6. Chandler Eaton, Alpharetta, Ga. (2016) 68-71-73–212
9. Joshua McCarthy, Danville, Calif. (2016) 69-73-71–213
9. Noah Norton, Chico, Calif. (2017) 71-69-73–213
9. Nate Menon, Wyomissing, Pa. (2017) 72-68-73–213
12. S.M. Lee, Buford, Ga. (2016) 75-70-69–214
13. William Nottingham, Kingsport, Tenn. (2016) 69-75-71–215
13. Devondeep Bling, Ridgecrest, Calif. (2017) 73-72-70–215
13. John Pak, Scotch Plains, N.J. (2017) 71-71-73–215
16. Pierceson Coody, Plano, Texas (2018) 70-75-71–216
16. Andy Spencer, Prairie Village, Kan. (2016) 76-69-71–216
16. Spencer Ralston, Gainesville, Ga. (2016) 71-73-72–216
16. Sen (Tommy) Cao, (China) Lake Mary, Fla. (2017) 72-70-74–216
16. Andrew Walker, Battle Creek, Mich. (2016) 71-69-76–216
16. Tyler Strafaci, Davie, Fla. (2016) 69-71-76–216
16. Dan Erickson, Whittier, Calif. (2017) 68-71-77–216
23. Sachin Kumar, (Trinidad and Tobago) Port Saint Lucie, Fla. (2017) 69-77-71–217
24. Koichiro Ishika, (Japan) Bradenton, Fla. (2017) 74-73-71–218
24. Hayden White, Benton, La. (2018) 76-70-72–218
24. Joshua Gliege, Eagle, Idaho (2016) 73-75-70–218
24. Spencer Soosman, Westlake Village, Calif. (2016) 76-70-72–218
24. Youxin (Robin) Wang, (China) Lake Mary, Fla. (2017) 76-73-69–218
24. Kyle Cox, Carrollton, Texas (2018) 68-77-73–218
24. Brandon Mancheno, Jacksonville, Fla. (2017) 70-74-74–218
24. Garrett Barber, Stuart, Fla. (2018) 71-70-77–218
32. Trent Phillips, Inman, S.C. (2018) 73-75-71–219
32. Walker Lee, Houston, Texas (2017) 71-71-77–219
34. Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn. (2017) 73-74-73–220
34. Chase Furey, Newport Beach, Calif. (2017) 78-71-71–220
34. Andrew Spiegler, Abingdon, Va. (2017) 71-78-71–220
34. Ryan Hall, Knoxville, Tenn. (2018) 71-73-76–220
38. Mason Nome, Houston, Texas (2019) 75-70-76–221
38. Josef Dransfeld, Huntington, W.Va. (2018) 71-71-79–221
40. Varun Chopra, Champaign, Ill. (2017) 76-71-75–222
40. Aman Gupta, Concord, N.C. (2017) 72-74-76–222
40. Goodman Rudolph, Cordova, Tenn. (2017) 72-74-76–222
40. McClure Meissner, San Antonio, Texas (2017) 74-78-70–222
44. Sean Maruyama, (Japan) Encino, Calif. (2018) 74-72-77–223
44. Ryan Gerard, Raleigh, N.C. (2017) 73-73-77–223
44. David Laskin, Elk Grove, Calif. (2016) 71-79-73–223
44. Shiso Go, Hiratsuka, Japan (2017) 75-75-73–223
48. Ben Smith, Novi, Mich. (2017) 76-71-77–224
48. Eddy Lai, San Jose, Calif. (2017) 74-74-76–224
48. Zack Justice, Orlando, Fla. (2016) 75-74-75–224
48. Ethan Ng, New York, N.Y. (2018) 74-76-74–224
52. Rij Patel, Hunt Valley, Md. (2016) 76-70-79–225
52. Parker Gillam, Cary, N.C. (2017) 72-73-80–225
52. Zhengkai (Bobby) Bai, (China) Lake Mary, Fla. (2016) 77-73-75–225
52. Michael Saccente, Edgewater, Fla. (2016) 74-80-71–225
56. Andy Mao, Johns Creek, Ga. (2019) 74-76-76–226
56. Brendan O’Reilly, Hinsdale, Ill. (2017) 80-73-73–226
56. Will Dickson, Providence, R.I. (2017) 79-76-71–226
59. Joseph Chun, (South Korea) Irvine, Calif. (2017) 75-75-77–227
59. Yash Majmudar, (India) Singapore, Singapore (2016) 79-72-76–227
59. Carlos Tercero, Xalapa, Mexico (2017) 78-74-75–227
59. Christian Fanfelle, San Antonio, Texas (2018) 83-72-72–227
Missed Cut
MC Sam Bennett, Madisonville, Texas (2018) 74-82-73–229
MC Jake Milanowski, Peachtree City, Ga. (2017) 81-75-73–229
MC Luka Karaulic, Dacula, Ga. (2018) 76-76-77–229
MC Cooper Dossey, Austin, Texas (2016) 75-77-77–229
MC James Piot, Canton, Mich. (2017) 76-70-83–229
MC Sam Tidd, Meridian, Idaho (2018) 76-80-74–230
MC Brock Goyen, Gilbert, Ariz. (2017) 75-72-83–230
MC Thomas Hogan, St. Simons Island, Ga. (2018) 77-76-78–231
MC Brandon Yoon, Brambleton, Va. (2017) 79-73-79–231
MC Devin Hua, Barrigada, Guam (2016) 71-80-80–231
MC Harrison Ott, Brookfield, Wis. (2017) 81-78-73–232
MC Greyson Porter, Clearwater, Fla. (2016) 83-76-74–233
MC Pone Pyae Han, Yangon, Myanmar (2017) 81-77-75–233
MC Ryan Grider, Lewisville, Texas (2017) 76-81-77–234
MC Russell Matos, Lombard, Ill. (2016) 81-72-81–234
MC Charlie Miller, Jackson, Miss. (2017) 73-78-83–234
MC Evan Sun, Wesley Chapel, Fla. (2019) 81-81-76–238
MC Tobin Niblett, Austin, Texas (2016) 82-71-85–238
MC Chase Cutshall, Melbourne, Fla. (2016) 79-78-82–239
MC Garett Reband, Fort Worth, Texas (2016) 71-77-91–239
MC Sean Yi, Auburn, Wash. (2017) 81-74-86–241
MC Ahmed Ali, Palo Alto, Calif. (2018) 84-83-91–258
*****After shooting a third-round 66, Michael Sanders is fifth at even-par and is the leading North Carolina player. Sanders is 8-under-par over his last 33 holes, and he will tee off at 9:15 a.m. in Friday’s final round.

“The last two days I’ve been playing really well. I didn’t necessarily see a score this low, but I saw some good golf ahead,” said Sanders, who has verbally committed to LSU. “I haven’t really performed in the Invitationals the way I’d like to, but I feel like my game’s there and now that I’ve kind of gotten this momentum, I think I’ll take it into tomorrow.”

Sanders, a rising high school junior at the Cannon School in Davidson, won two AJGA tournaments in 2015, including the IZOD AJGA Championship held at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis.

“Growing up I’ve always been a big fan of Bill and Jay Haas,” Sanders said. “The Carolinas are very impacted by them, so it feels really great to play well in a tournament that they sponsor and know that they’re watching.””*****

Info Courtesy of Chris Richards, Senior Communications Director