AMIRA SHOOTS 3-UNDER-PAR 69 TO GRAB LEAD AT HANMI BANK JUNIOR OPEN
Lee leads Girls Division by 5-strokes in Yorba Linda
YORBA LINDA, Calif. â€” Louis Amira of Valencia, Calif., shot a first round 69 on Tuesday, taking a one stroke lead in the Boys Division at the Hanmi Bank Junior Open. In the Girls Division, Jennie Lee of Huntington Beach, Calif., fired a 2-under-par 70, separating herself from the pack by five strokes.
The Hanmi Bank Junior Open, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 64 boys and 21 girls â€” ages 12-18 â€” from five states, 76 from the state of California. The event is being staged on the par-72, 6,697-yard Black Gold Golf Club (Girls Division played at 6,021).
15-year-old Amira struggled early in his round. Starting the day on No. 10, Amira made bogey on Nos. 11 and 13, leaving him 2-over-par after his first four holes. He recovered by making par on three consecutive holes, and firing birdie on Nos. 17 and 18. Amira went the rest of the round bogey-free, and shot 3-under-par on his final nine holes, giving him the lead after Tuesday.
Amira knows he will have to continue his strong play to contend in the final two rounds.
â€śI want to shoot in the 60's all week, but my goal is to shoot par on the back-nine the next two days,â€ť said Amira. â€śThe front-nine will take care of itself.â€ť
Trailing Amira by one stoke at 2-under-par 70, is Tom Lo of Los Angeles. Seven players are locked in a tie for third at 71. They are: John Yuen of Brea, Calif., Bo DeHuff of Coto de Caza, Calif., Chris Cho of San Diego, Michael Drake of Riverside, Calif., Jeff Koprivetz of Yorba Linda, Calif., Alex Resurreccion of Long Beach, Calif., and Evan Derian of Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Lee distanced herself from her competitors by five strokes with her low round. Lee started her day with a bang, sinking a short birdie putt on the 400-yard, par-4 No. 1. Completing her front nine 2-under-par, Lee stumbled on the 483-yard, par-5 No. 13, making her first bogey of the day. She bounced back quickly, sinking a 30-foot birdie-putt on No. 14, moving her back to 2-under-par on the day.
Lee's consistency paid dividends as she made par 14 times Tuesday.
â€śI had a lot of fun out there,â€ť Lee said. â€śI played pretty steady, and made a lot of pars.â€ť
18-year-old Lee is committed to attend Duke University in the fall, where she will play golf for the Blue Devils. Lee playing in her final AJGA regular season event, was a 2004 first team Rolex Junior All-American, and has been on the Rolex Junior All-American roster for the last four years.
â€śThis is my last open AJGA event,â€ť said Lee. â€śSo I want to play well and have a good finish.â€ť
In a three-way tie for second at 75 are Won Joo Choi of Murrieta, Calif., Glory Yang also of Murrieta, Calif., and Jenny Kim of Los Angeles.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch, USA, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
Second-round tee times will begin Wednesday at 7:00 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Black Gold Golf Club.
For more information about the Hanmi Bank Junior Open, contact tournament headquarters at (714) 961-0060.