VALERO TEXAS OPEN JUNIOR SHOOTOUT
The Dominion Country Club
San Antonio, Texas
July 12-15, 2004
HEDGE FIRES 6-UNDER-PAR 66, LEADS BOYS DIVISION AT THE DOMINION COUNTRY CLUB
Pressel leads Girls Division by two strokes at even par
SAN ANTONIO â€“ Josh Hedge of Billings, Mont., shook off a bogey on his first hole and breezed through the rest of his round, shooting a 6-under-par 66 and taking a three-stroke lead Tuesday in the first round of the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout. In the Girls Division, Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., shot even-par 72 to take a two-stroke lead.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout is a 54-hole, stroke play event featuring junior golfers from nine states and Mexico. 101 Texans are among the 120 juniors, who range in age from 12-18. 2004 marks the 13th year the AJGA has staged the event in the San Antonio area.
After making bogey at the par-4 first hole, Hedge, 18, got back to even par with a birdie at No. 4, then went on a tear with birdies at Nos. 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 14 to get to 6-under-par. The impressive stretch included birdies at three of The Dominion Country Clubâ€™s four par-5s.
â€śWith those par 5s in the middle, I like that stretch,â€ť Hedge said. â€śSo I knew if I could play the first five holes well, Iâ€™d be in good shape.â€ť
Hedge said that he would continue to attack flagsticks throughout the tournament.
â€śI was just playing each hole trying to make a birdie,â€ť Hedge said. â€śIf youâ€™re hitting fairways and hitting it long, I donâ€™t see why not. As long as I keep hitting fairways, I feel like Iâ€™ll be alright.â€ť
Three boys trail Hedge by three strokes. Robert Streb of Edmond, Okla., Brent Bennett of Midland, Texas, and Scott Pinckney of Anthem, Ariz., each carded a 3-under-par 69.
â€śThe putter was doing it for me today,â€ť Streb said. â€śUsually I donâ€™t make much outside of 10 or 15 feet, but today was good.â€ť
Bennett said his focus on the course was the key to his round.
â€śI was really in the zone,â€ť Bennett said. â€śIâ€™d hang on until the end and make a lot of up-and-downs.â€ť
Pinckney, who shared medalist honors in Sundayâ€™s Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout Qualifier, is playing in his first AJGA Open event and was upbeat after his solid play.
â€śIâ€™m hitting the ball awesome,â€ť Pinckney said. â€śI feel like I can go at the flag and Iâ€™m thinking positive.â€ť
Randy Guliuzo, Jr., of Belle Chasse, La., and Nick Olivarri of San Antonio each shot 2-under-par 70 and trail by four strokes in fifth place.
In the Girls Division, Pressel was able to stay out of trouble, but said she was not satisfied with her work on the greens.
â€śI missed short putts everywhere â€“ I just couldnâ€™t get the speed right,â€ť Pressel said. â€śI had three goals coming in â€“ birdie the par-5s, hit every par-3 green, and never three-putt.
â€śAfter today Iâ€™ve already scratched all those off, but itâ€™s only the first day. Hopefully I can play a little better the next two days.â€ť
Caney Hines of San Antonio shot 37-37â€”74 and trails by two strokes. Tamara Campbell of Lawton, Okla., and Daphne Vines of Austin, Texas, are tied at 77 in third place.
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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGAâ€™s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Associationâ€™s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
Second-round tee times begin at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at The Dominion Country Club. For more information on the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout, contact tournament headquarters at (210) 698-2745.