KIM FIRES 5-UNDER-PAR 67, SETS TOURNAMENT RECORD
Michaels wins Girls Division at Mission Hills to capture second title in two weeks
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Sihwan Kim of Fullerton, Calif., set a tournament record on Thursday at the Mission Hills Desert Junior, firing three consecutive rounds under 70. His 68-64-67 – 199 led the Boys Division by five strokes. In the Girls Division, Sydnee Michaels of Temecula, Calif., shot a 2-under-par 70 to ensure her second win in two weeks.
The Mission Hills Desert Junior, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, was staged at the Mission Hills Country Club's Palmer Course. The tournament featured 63 boys and 21 girls — ages 12-18 — from five states and one foreign country. The event was held on the par-72, 6,802-yard Palmer Course at Mission Hills Country Club (Girls Division played at 6,157).
An eagle on the 518-yard, par-5 No. 3 kicked his game into high gear and set the tone for the rest of his round. He completed the front nine with a 4-under-par 32 and was 1-under-par on the back. His three-day tournament total is tied for third lowest three-day total in an AJGA event. Even after shooting a tournament record, Kim presented a laidback attitude about his accomplishments.
“Nothing special happened out there today,” said Kim. “My shots were alright, but my putting was really good.”
Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., hung tight throughout the week, finishing the tournament with a total of 204. In a tie for third, Louis Amira of Valencia, Calif., and Rory Hie of Lakewood, Calif., completed the tournament with a total of 206. Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division was Blake Trimble of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., at 207.
Coming off a win at the Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch last week, Michaels extended her winning streak with a 74-70-70 — 214 at Mission Hills Country Club. Her final round included three birdies and only one bogey. The 17-year-old was pleased with her results.
“I was focused and didn't have any bad holes,” said Michaels. “It certainly was my goal to come out here and win this week, so I am glad to have accomplished that.”
Michaels captured the Girls Division title by five strokes. Her closest competition came from first-round leader, Hsiao-Ching Lu of Taipei, Taiwan with a tournament total of 219. Jennie Lee of Huntington Beach, Calif., finished the week in third, with a three-day total of 221.
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, Vick Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the Mission Hills Desert Junior, contact the AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.