FAMILY TOYOTA/FAMILY HONDA JUNIOR
presented by Cox Media
Coto de Caza Golf and Racquet Club â€“ South Course
Coto de Caza, California
August 17-20, 2004
COMEBACK KIDS CAPTURE COTO CROWN
California natives Lee and Joh shoot 69â€™s; overcome deficits to claim victory
COTO DE CAZA, Calif. â€“ As the final groups in both the Boys and Girls Divisions wrapped up play during the final round of the Family Toyota/Family Honda Junior presented by Cox Media, two players, James Lee of La Habra, Calif., and Tiffany Joh of San Diego, had already signed their scorecards and laid claim to what were their second and third respective AJGA titles.
Both players, who have committed to attend college at UCLA, overcame substantial deficits to earn victory.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Family Toyota/Family Honda Junior presented by Cox Media was held at the South Course at the Coto de Caza Golf and Racquet Club. One-hundred and nineteen junior golfers, including 111 from California, competed in the 54-hole stroke play event.
In the Boys Division, Lee began the day four shots out of the lead. However, after making three birdies in his last five holes, the 17-year-old high school senior-to-be left himself two shots clear of the field, finishing with a tournament total of 8-under-par 208.
â€śI wasnâ€™t sure what was going on with the group in front of me,â€ť Lee said. â€śBut on the back nine, I found out I was two shots back with four holes to go and knew I had to catch up.â€ť
And catch up he did. The birdie blitz on the final five holes was enough for a two-shot victory over Rory Hie of Lakewood, Calif., who fired a 71 on Friday to finish with a tournament total of 6-under-par 210.
â€śThis win is really big for me,â€ť Lee said. â€śI had been struggling earlier in the summer, and after shooting 74 on the first day, I thought I was going to be in trouble. Iâ€™m happy with the way I came back.â€ť
Finishing alone in third place was Erik Flores of Grass Valley, Calif., with a tournament total of 5-under-par 211. Fellow California natives Doug Fortner of Tustin, and Geoff Gonzalez of Diablo, finished in a tie for fourth at even-par 216.
In the Girls Division, a back-nine 33 served as the catalyst for Johâ€™s run at the title. Her final-round 69 left her at 2-under-par 214 for the tournament, good enough for her third AJGA title of the year.
â€śI really wasnâ€™t hitting the ball very well, but I was saving myself with my putting,â€ť Joh said.
Joh, 17, whose other victories came at the Las Vegas Founders Junior Golf Championship and the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills, trailed by three shots going into the final round and made five total birdies along with only two bogies.
â€śThis victory feels really good,â€ť Joh said. â€śI had to come back from a high score the first day and that makes this win special.â€ť
Also making a charge on Friday but falling just short of victory was Alameda, Calif., native Ki-Shui Liao. Her tournament total of 1-under-par 215 was good enough for sole possession of second place. Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., took home third-place honors with a 2-over-par 218 total.
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.
For more information about the Family Toyota/Family Honda Junior presented by Cox Media, please contact AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.