TRANSAMERICA JUNIOR AT HIWAN
Hiwan Golf Club
August 10-13, 2004
KIM CAPTURES NARROW LEAD ENTERING FINAL ROUND
Tait takes six-stroke lead in Girls Division
EVERGREEN, Colo. â€“ Sihwan Kim of Fullerton, Calif., posted a second-round total of 35-38--73 Thursday to assume the lead at the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan at 5-over-par 145 with 18 holes remaining. Ashley Tait of Littleton, Colo., currently holds the lead in the Girls Division carding a 36-39â€”75 Thursday, leaving her at 6-over-par for the tournament.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan features 98 players, 72 boys and 26 girls, ages 13-18 from 20 states and Canada. Thirty-one juniors call the host state of Colorado home. The 54-hole stroke play event returns to the over 7,000-foot elevation Hiwan Golf Club for a second year.
Kim, who was recently crowned the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur Champion in San Francisco, holds a narrow one-stroke lead entering the final round. The fifteen-year-old, like much of the field, found himself struggling with Hiwanâ€™s challenging greens.
â€śI felt like my driver and iron shots were very good this round, but I kind of struggled with my putting,â€ť Kim remarked.
Fortunately the fast greens didnâ€™t keep Kim from carding an eagle on the par-4 No. 4. Even Kim was surprised when his 163 yard, 8-iron shot dropped in the cup.
â€śI hit my shot and went to put my club back in the bag. I had no idea that it went in until I heard people clapping,â€ť admitted Kim.
Jesse Barnsley of Albuquerque, N.M., joins Chris Cho of San Diego, Calif., in a tie for second at 146. Following closely are James Dalthorp III of Los Angeles, Calif., Josh Hedge of Billings, Mont., and Aaron Slonim of Las Vegas, Nev., each with tournament totals of 147 entering the final round.
Taitâ€™s consistent front nine moved her one round closer to claiming her first AJGA title. The 17-year-old recovered from two three-putts on Nos. 3 and 4 by making birdie on the 350-yard par-4 5th hole. Tait also birdied No. 2, leaving her at only 1-over-par at the turn.
â€śI really like the fast greens on this course,â€ť said Tait. â€śI am confident in the way I hit my shots so I can usually place myself where I want to be to set up for good putts.â€ť
The Colorado native, who sits six strokes ahead of the field after 36 holes, enters Fridayâ€™s round with confidence in her game and her position. She sets her sights on 18 pars to finish off the tournament.
â€śI think that tomorrow will come down to the short game and those five and six foot putts that are so tricky on this course,â€ť Tait said.
Sommer Scholl of Riverside, Calif., sits alone in second place after carding a 77-75â€”152. Stephanie Johns of Ashland, Ore., enters the final round in third place after recording a 76-77â€”153.
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 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 the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
The final round of the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan will begin Friday morning at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information about the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan, please contact tournament headquarters at (303) 674-3369, ext. 328.