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Green Valley Country Club

Greenville, South Carolina

June 21-24, 2004



Wang continues hot play with first-round 69


GREENVILLE, S.C. – Paul Haley of Dallas and Ryan LeFevre of Boca Raton, Fla., shot matching 4-under-par 68s to take the first-round lead of the Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship.  Catherina Wang of Sarasota, Fla., took an early 5-stroke lead in the Girls Division, firing a 3-under-par 69

The seventh annual Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke-play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Green Valley Country Club. The tournament includes 99 boy and girl junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 16 states and Canada. Five Rolex Junior All-Americans and 27 South Carolina natives highlight the field.               

Haley and LeFevre shot identical 68s but in no way was their round alike.  Haley came out of the gates red hot, carding a birdie on the first hole after his approach shot finished one foot from the hole.  After pars on holes Nos. 2 and 3, the 16-year-old struck again, making birdie putts on Nos. 4, 6, and 7, to go to 4-under-par through seven holes. 

“I really got off to a good start with a birdie on my first hole and continued my momentum through the first seven holes,” Haley commented.  “This course requires you to hit the ball in the fairway and have a strong short game, which really fits my strengths.”

After the torrid start to the front nine, Haley played consistent on his way to the clubhouse, making pars on his remaining 11 holes to card a bogey free round.  Haley has been steady thus far this season with a third place tie at the TaylorMade-addidas Golf Junior at The Woodlands and a sixth place finish in the AJGA Lubbock Junior presented by United Supermarkets.

LeFevre owns a share of the first-round lead, however, he started a little slower than Haley.  LeFevre began his day with a good break on the first hole, after his tee shot ricocheted off trees and found itself near the fairway.  The opening led to a par on No. 1 and really set the tone for his day.  “Even though it was the first hole, the bounce off the tree really settled me down and I knew I was in for a decent day,” LeFevre said.

The day turned out to be a little more than decent, with LeFevre making six birdies and just two bogies.  After tallying back-to-back birdies on the front nine, he went on to record a birdie on No. 10 and ran a string of birdies together starting at No. 14 and ending with a two-foot birdie putt on No. 16. 

“I felt very relaxed out there today,” LeFevre explained.  “ I hit my tee shots well, my irons really solid, and when I did happen to miss my location, I missed on the proper side.”

Trailing the leaders by two strokes is Raj Nahal from Longwood, Fla., posting an first round 70.  Charlie Holland of Dallas, a high school teammate of Haley, is tied with Nicholas Smith of Ocala, Fla., at 1-under-par to round out the top-five.

In the Girls Division, Wang continued her stellar play in 2004, with a 3-under-par 69 to take a five-stroke lead after day one.  Wang, 15, who recently won the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic and finished in a tie for ninth at the TaylorMade-addidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan, marked four birdies and one lone bogey.  She carded a 35 on the front nine, with consecutive birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 and finished with a back nine 2-under-par 34. 

“I hit a lot of fairways and greens today,” Wang commented.  “I really tried to stay focused out there and make a lot of pars.  By hitting shots close to the hole, I was able to eliminate three-putts.”

The highlight of the day for Wang was her tee shot on the par-3, 159-yard fourteenth.  Her shot nearly flew into the hole for an ace, eventually resting three feet away from the flagstick for an easy birdie.  

Finishing the first day 5-strokes behind the leader was Hannah Brabb of Maitland, Fla., Jessica Yadloczky of Cassleberry, Fla., and Christina Wentworth of Macon, Ga.  The trio posted rounds of 2-over-par 74. 

The second round of the Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship will continue Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. off No. 1.

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.

For more information about the Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship, please contact tournament headquarters at (864) 246-3941 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.