PARK TIES TOURNAMENT RECORD; WINS GIRLS DIVISION BY ONE STROKE
Scottsdale, Ariz., native Kittleson takes Boys Division title at Longbow Golf Club
MESA, Ariz. â€” In her first appearance at the Heather Farr Classic, first-team Rolex Junior All-American and 2002 Rolex Junior Player of the Year In-Bee Park of Las Vegas was able to put together rounds of 68-70â€”138 to take the Girls Division title at Longbow Golf Club. Drew Kittleson of Scottsdale, Ariz., used his consistent play to end up at the top of the leaderboard in the Boys Division after shooting a 69-70â€”139.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Heather Farr Classic was played at Longbow Golf Club. The tournament consisted of 140 junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 15 states and Canada, including 29 players from the state of Arizona. Twenty-six Rolex Junior All-Americans are competing in the event.
After finishing runner-up four times at national junior golf events in 2004, a win was something that the 16-year-old Park had been waiting for.
â€śIt is a good start and I like it a lot,â€ť said Park. â€śI did not want to be second again.â€ť
In the process of picking up her seventh career AJGA win, Park also tied the 36-hole record for the Heather Farr Classic with her 4-under-par 138, tying Whitney Welch's record from the 2001 Heather Farr Classic.
Park's rollercoaster round started with the three-time Rolex Junior All-American picking up birdies on Nos. 3, 4 and 5. After birdies on Nos. 9 and 11, she fell victim to bogeys on Nos. 15, 16 and 17.
â€śI was off to a good start, my putts were falling in,â€ť said Park. â€śEverything was perfect. I was 4-under-par and then things went bad.â€ť
Park was able to hold on though, and pull out the one-stroke victory over first-round leader Tiffany Joh of San Diego. Following one stroke behind Joh in third place was Sydnee Michaels of Temecula, Calif., with a 2-under-par 140.
Finishing in a tie for fourth place in the Girls Division were Nicole Smith of Riverside, Calif., Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., and Angela Park of Torrance, Calif. Park fired a 4-under-par 67 in Sunday's final round to earn a top-five finish as well as tie the women's competitive course record, which was set by Joh in the first round.
Kittleson gets to celebrate his birthday a little early with his first AJGA win. The sophomore at Pinnacle High School turns 16 on Saturday (April 2).
Despite three bogeys during his round, Kittleson was able to come up with four birdies on Nos. 3, 9, 13 and 15 to finish 1-under-par for the day and 3-under-par for the tournament.
â€śI putted really well and was able to get up and down when I was in trouble,â€ť said Kittleson. â€śThis is also a good course for me because I don't mind hitting 3-wood or irons from the tee and I like the hard, fast greens.â€ť
After finishing in a tie for 37th at the 2004 Heather Farr Classic with rounds of 72-81â€”153, Kittleson was happy to get his first AJGA win.
â€śIt is a great honor and it was a lot of fun playing with guys like Rory (Hie) and Roberto (Galletti, Jr.),â€ť said Kittleson. â€śThis is an awesome thing to have under your belt, proving myself with a win.â€ť
Finishing one stroke behind Kittleson was 2004 champion Rory Hie of Lakewood, Calif., and Richard Lee of Vancouver, B.C., with 2-under-par 140s. Following behind in a two-way tie for fourth were Lucas Lee of Torrance, Calif., and Chris Jensen of Los Altos, Calif., with matching 1-under-par 141s. Rounding out the top 10 are Daniel Woltman of Beaver Dam, Wis., Roberto Galletti, Jr., of Clayton, Calif., Eric Mina of Fremont, Calif., Tim McKenney of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Kyle Nielsen of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
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.
For more information on the Heather Farr Classic, please contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.