Rockaway Hunting Club

Lawrence, New York

July 25-29, 2004



Schepperle opens a five-shot lead in the Girls Division


LAWRENCE, N.Y. – Andrew Giuliani of New York, N.Y., was the only player to break par in the Boys Division during a wet, windy first day at the Lessing’s AJGA Classic, firing a 1-under-par 69 to take a one-stroke lead.


In the Girls Division, Candace Schepperle of Hoover, Ala., overcame a rollercoaster of a round to fire a 2-under-par 68 and take a commanding five-shot lead.


The Lessing’s AJGA Classic is a 54-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Rockaway Hunting Club in Lawrence, N.Y. The tournament features 84 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 11 states, including 20 from New York and Taiwan.


On a day when steady rain and wind on Long Island made scoring difficult, Giuliani took advantage of the calm early morning hours. He made birdie on the first hole and another at the par-5 No. 6. After a double-bogey on No. 7, the 18-year-old Giulini responded by making birdies on Nos. 10 and 11.


But it wasn’t until No. 16 that Giulini said he played his best hole. The result? A bogey.


“I hit a punch 9-iron out-of-bounds long, then hit pitching wedge close and made bogey,” Giulini said. “To stick that pitching wedge at that point was big. Those are the ones that keep you going.”


One stroke back in second place is Eric Lo of Taiwan, who played in the same group as Giuliani. Keegan Bradley of Hopkinton, Mass., is in third after a 1-over-par 71, and Mark Washburn of Reston, Va., and Tyler Zara of New Canaan, Conn., are tied for fourth after rounds of 3-over-par 73.


Schepperle, 16, opened with birdies on her first two holes. After back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4, Schepperle birdied Nos. 5 and 9 to make the turn at 1-under-par 34.


“I made a lot of birdies today. I just struck it well,” said Schepperle, whose best AJGA finish was fourth at the 2003 Hargray Junior Classic. “The bad weather didn’t really affect me. You just have to concentrate more.”


On the back nine, Schepperle again had back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. Another birdie at the par-4 No. 15 gave her seven on the day.


“It was a little up-and-down,” Schepperle said. “I just didn’t think about the last shot or last hole. I just kept playing along and making more birdies.”


Alone in second place is Susannah Aboff of Huntington, N.Y., who shot a 3-over-par 73. Abigale Schepperle, also of Hoover, Ala., is in third after a round of 77.


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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, 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, Christie Kerr and Beth Bauer.


Second-round tee times begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday off the No. 1 tee at Rockaway Hunting Club. For more information about the Lessing’s AJGA Classic, please contact tournament headquarters at (516) 569-0060.


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