Sisters battling it out again for title

Older sibling has upper hand after the second round

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Ashlan and Taylor Ramsey have been in this position before.

Former Martinez resident Taylor Ramsey shot 1-under-par 71 on Thursday and leads her younger sister, Ashlan, by one shot after two rounds in the girls division.   Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Former Martinez resident Taylor Ramsey shot 1-under-par 71 on Thursday and leads her younger sister, Ashlan, by one shot after two rounds in the girls division.

At last year's American Junior Golf Association Chateau Elan Junior All-Star event in Braselton, Ga., Taylor led the tournament -- and her younger sister -- just as she does entering today's final round of the Charles Howell III Junior Championship at West Lake Country Club.

Playing together in the last group, Ashlan erased a two-shot deficit on the final day to overtake Taylor and earn her first AJGA title. Taylor is still seeking her first AJGA title.

On Thursday, Ashlan birdied her last three holes and shot 2-under-par 70, but she enters today's final round a stroke behind. Taylor leads at 4-under 141 after shooting 71.

"I wasn't consistent at all. It was birdie, bogey, birdie, bogey today. But I kept it under par," said Taylor, who along with Ashlan moved from Columbia County to Bradenton, Fla., in January to train at the David Leadbetter Academy. "Last time we were paired together, she beat me by one. It's my turn this time."

North Augusta sophomore Jessica Hoang is third after 73-75. Lakeside sophomore Elizabeth Kim is ninth after shooting 77-76.

Ashlan hit approach shots to 4, 6 and 4 feet and made the putts in her closing stretch of birdies.

"I'm excited to play in the last group with Taylor," said Ashlan, who won last week's AJGA event in Rome, Ga. "It'll be interesting."

In contrast to the girls competition, the race for the boys title features a bunched group.

Greenbrier senior Cody Shafer stole the momentum Thursday, following 72 with 68. He countered two double bogeys with eight birdies to grab a share of the lead heading into the final round.

Shafer is seeking his second AJGA tournament victory in as many weeks.

"I'm not going to worry about that," he said about stringing together wins. "I'm playing good. I'm confident."

Tied with Shafer is Dru Love, son of PGA Tour pro Davis Love III. The Sea Island, Ga., resident is playing in his first AJGA event and said he didn't expect that he'd be in contention when he started the tournament. But a round of 69 changed that.

"I hit it great all day. I just couldn't get putts to fall," Love said. "I missed seven birdie putts in the last eight holes."

Eight players are within four shots of the lead. First-round co-leader Trey Valentine, of Melbourne, Fla., shot 72 and is one back.

Of the locals, Lakeside graduate Brant Patton (71-74) is tied for 11th. Austin Vick (70-76) and Robert Robertson (73-73) are tied for 14th.

Jonathan Lilly (74-75) had one of the shots of the tournament on the par-5 18th. He stuck his 265-yard second shot to a few feet and knocked in the eagle putt.


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