TRANSAMERICA JUNIOR AT HIWAN
Hiwan Golf Club
August 10-13, 2004
WEIR, O’BRYANT, LEE AND HEDGE ANYTHING BUT ROCKY IN COLORADO
Colorado native Tait shoots personal low at Hiwan for three-shot lead
EVERGREEN, Colo. – On a day dampened by periodic rain showers and two stoppages of play totaling one hour and fifty-one minutes, Colorado natives Tyler Weir of Boulder and Shaun O’Bryant of Colorado Springs along with Richard Lee of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Josh Hedge of Billings, Mont., fired even-par 70s to earn a four-way share of the lead after the first round of the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan. In the Girls Division, Ashley Tait of Littleton, Colo., finished her first-round with a 1-over-par 71, good enough for a three-shot lead heading into Thursday.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan features 98 players, 72 boys and 26 girls, ages 13-18 from 20 states and Canada. Thirty-one juniors call the host state of Colorado home. The 54-hole stroke play event returns to the over 7,000-foot elevation Hiwan Golf Club for a second year.
Despite unusually chilly morning temperatures dipping into the fourties, Weir and O’Bryant were able to complete their rounds before the delays began. Weir couldn’t have asked for a better start to his round, making birdie on four of his first five holes. He credited his putting experience for the early success on Hiwan’s traditionally fast and unyielding greens.
“I like tough greens because I’ve played on them my entire life,” the 15-year-old Weir said, who carded five birdies on the day. “I made a 15-foot birdie putt after almost holing out for eagle on No. 1, and I sank a 30-foot birdie on No. 3. I was just trying to make pars, but I started making every putt I hit.”
O’Bryant also found the stroke with his putter, needing only 13 putts to finish his 1-under-par 34 on the front-nine.
“I didn’t put myself in a position where I couldn’t make par,” the rising senior said. “These greens are tough and I made some good up-and-downs when I needed to.”
After a win in his first AJGA event—the Nike Golf Junior at Las Cruces—the 13-year-old Lee continued his strong play by carding 3 birdies on the day en route to a 36-34—70.
“I think if I take more time on my shots tomorrow that I can go low again,” Lee said. “I hit a lot of approach shots into the middle of the green, and hopefully I can hit some more good shots tomorrow.”
Hedge, who finished tied for 15th place in last year’s Transamerica Junior at Hiwan, hopes to continue his solid performance after a first-round 70.
“Every shot is demanding and if you don’t hit it right, you can get penalized,” the 18-year-old rising senior said. “This is the toughest course I’ve ever played, but I love it.”
Tied for fifth place at two shots back of the leaders are U.S. Junior Amateur Champion Sihwan Kim of Fullerton, Calif., Jesse Lee of South Pasadena, Calif., and John Wisner III of Tucson, Ariz. All shot first-round 2-over-par 72s.
Tait’s sensational 71 is seven shots better than her best round at the 2003 Transamerica Junior at Hiwan where she finished in second place. Her round included birdies on Nos. 1, 12, and 16.
“My short game was really on today. I only missed one putt within 10 feet,” the 17-year-old Tait said. “I need to improve on my lag putting—I left myself a lot of five footers that I was fortunate enough to make.”
Alone in second place three shots back of the leader is Amanda Martinez of San Antonio. Martinez started her day with birdies on Nos. 1 and 3 en route to her 34-40—74. Stephanie Johns of Ashland, Ore., sits alone in third at 76.
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 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 second round of the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan will begin Thursday morning at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information about the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan, please contact tournament headquarters at (303) 674-3369, ext. 328,.