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Highland Oaks Golf Course

Dothan, Alabama

March 12-14, 2004



Three tied for fourth place after 18 holes


DOTHAN, Ala. – Brent Cooper, of Valley Head, Ala., Matt Pitts, of Bradenton, Fla., and Craig Smith, of Springfield, Tenn., finished the first round Saturday at the Ashworth Junior at Highland Oaks presented by Movie Gallery at 1-over-par 73 to stand in first place.


The second-annual Ashworth Junior at Highland Oaks presented by Movie Gallery is a 36-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Highland Oaks Golf Course.  The tournament includes 102 players from 17 states. Eight players hail from Alabama.             


The AJGA’s Ashworth Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.


According to the 17-year-old Pitts, his play seemed simple despite the difficulty of the greens.


“I had 15 pars, two bogeys and one birdie,” Pitts said.  “I was real steady on the course.”


Cooper said his round was not as steady. 


“I had some bad breaks on the front nine and actually made a triple,” said Cooper, also 17 years old.  “Then I hit the water on No. 9, but got it back and birdied one and then dunked one out of the bunker for birdie.  That got me going."


Similarly, the 16-year-old Smith had a double bogey on No. 9, but followed it with three birdies.


“I scrambled a lot,” Smith said.  “I made bogeys, but came back with birdies.”


Pitts labeled the greens as the most difficult part of the golf course.


“The greens were firm.  I picked my club to land short and let the ball roll up,” said Pitts. 


Toliver Latham, of Twin Falls, Idaho; Thomas Mathiassen, of Roswell, Ga.; and Kaleb Nichols, of Cordova, Tenn., trail the first-round leaders at 2-over-par 74.  They are tied for fourth place.


The final round of the tournament will begin Sunday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.  For more information on the Ashworth Junior at Highland Oaks presented by Movie Gallery, please contact tournament headquarters at (334) 712-2820.