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Chateau Elan Golf Club – Chateau Course
Braselton, Georgia
August 1, 2004

Durham grabs medalist honors in the Girls Division

BRASELTON, Ga. – Matthew Coles of Franklin, Tenn., and Matthew Hammock of Hinesville, Ga., carded matching 1-under-par 70s to earn medallist honors at the Burgett H. Monney, Jr. Rome Classic Qualifier. Rebecca Durham of St. Simons Island, Ga., took top honors in the Girls Division by scoring a 1-over-par 72.

The Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic Qualifier, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 99 boys and girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states, including 44 Georgia natives. The 18-hole stroke play event was held at the par-71 Chateau Elan Golf Club’s Chateau Course. Following today’s action, 14 juniors (12 boys and two girls) qualified into the ninth annual Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic, which will feature two Rolex Junior All-Americans. Past champions of the event include Beth Bauer, Chanin Puntawong, Chris Kirk and Roberto Castro.

The 17-year-old Coles carded two birdies and only one bogey during his 1-under-par round on Sunday. Coles’ first birdie came on his first hole of the day, the 409-yard, par-4 fifth hole.

“I just tried to hit the center of the green and had a pretty good iron shot that put me close,” Coles said. “Getting off to a good start at a course like this is always good.”

The rising senior will be making just his second appearance in an AJGA event. Earlier in 2004, Coles tied for ninth at the Subaru Open at Andover.

“I’m hoping to play well in Rome,” Coles commented. “My goal is to finish in the top 10. I think it will be a great tournament.”

Hammock, a rising junior, credited his round of 70 to two 50-foot putts on his final two holes of the day, Nos. 2 and 3.

“It’s been a struggle all summer long because I haven’t putted well,” Hammock said. “But today, even when I didn’t hit the best shots, I was able to drain some key putts, like the two 50-foot putts on Nos. 2 and 3. I don’t know how I made those.”

Although Hammock’s round ended on a good note, he did not get off to a hot start as he bogeyed his first hole of the day, the 415-yard, par-4 fourth hole.

“After my bogey on No. 4 I thought that I was going to be in for a long day,” Hammock remarked. “I was glad I was able to bounce back and am looking forward to the tournament in Rome.”

Tying for third in the Boys Division with matching even-par 71s was William Angel of Hoover, Ala., Eric Gibbs of Alma, Ark., and John Hopper of Roswell, Ga. Rounding out the list of qualifiers was Lee Benton of Thomasville, Ga., Rob Heroman of Atlanta, Timothy Tang of North Charleston, S.C., Rikiya Kitagawa of Bradenton, Fla., Connor McHenry of Jefferson City, Mo., Sam Ransom of Atlanta and Casey High of Raleigh, N.C.

Patrick Rada of Anderson, S.C., Clinton Suggs of Knoxville, Tenn., Drew Ernst of Seneca, S.C., Wes Nobles of Roswell, Ga., Doug Kenny of Roswell, Ga., and Elliot Lopez of Chapin, S.C. opted to have one Tournament Exemption added to their Performance Based Entry status in lieu of playing the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic.

In the Girls Division, Durham’s round of 1-over-par 72 included four birdies and five bogeys.

“I’m playing well right now and only missed three fairways and four greens all day today,” Durham said.

Back to back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 propelled the 15-year-old through her round and to the top of the leaderboard.

“I had great iron shots on Nos. 14 and 15 that put me only a couple feet from the hole,” Durham commented. “My putting today really helped me a lot.”

Durham will be participating in her fifth AJGA event when she travels to Rome, Ga., for the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic.

Also qualifying in the Girls Division was Stacey Kim of Midland, Ga., who fired a 3-over-par 74.

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 (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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

The Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic will begin Tuesday with tee times starting at 7:30 a.m. off of the No. 1 tee at Coosa Country Club in Rome, Ga. For more information about the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic, please contact tournament headquarters at (706) 234-7131, ext. 377.