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Hiwan Golf Club

Evergreen, Colorado

August 10-13, 2004



Johns comes from seven back for win


EVERGREEN, Co. – For Jesse Barnsley of Albequerque, N.M., finishing in second place two years in a row wasn’t an option.  With a birdie on the first playoff hole, Barnsley defeated Richard Lee of Vancouver, British Columbia to capture his first AGJA win.  Seven shots back at the start of the day, Stephanie Johns of Ashland, Ore., shot a final-round 75 to finish with a tournament total of 228 and capture a dramatic 2-stroke victory at the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan featured 98 players, 72 boys and 26 girls, ages 13-18 from 20 states and Canada.  The 54-hole stroke play event returned to the illustrious Hiwan Golf Club for a second year.

Playing in the final group of the day, Barnsley was 8-over-par for the tournament heading to the No. 18 tee.  Little did he know that Lee was in the clubhouse at 8-over-par after carding a 70, the low final-round score of the day.

“I knew I had a two-shot lead on the players in my group, so I felt confident,” Barnsley said.

Barnsley’s approach fell short of the green, but he made a terrific up-and-down for par to, unbeknownst to him, force a playoff with Lee.  On the first playoff hole, Lee couldn’t connect on a 15-foot birdie attempt.

“The first putt I had on No. 18 was exactly the same as the one I had in the playoff,” said the 13-year-old Lee.  “The first putt broke left and the playoff putt broke right—I gave him an opening and he took advantage.”

Barnsley stepped up to his ball and calmly sank a 12-foot birdie putt to clinch the victory.

“I played solid all day, and after finishing second last year, I didn’t want to give it away,” said the Pepperdine freshman-to-be.  “I’ve been close to winning before, and finally getting a win in my last AJGA event is a great feeling.”

U.S. Junior Amateur Champion and second-round leader Sihwan Kim of Fullerton, Calif., finished tied for third place with Zen Brown of Arvada, Colo., with tournament totals of 220.  Mark Volk Jr. of Highlands Ranch, Colo., finished alone in fifth place at 222.

Trailing first and second-round leader Ashley Tait of Littleton, Colo., by seven shots entering Friday’s final round, Johns’ focus wasn’t on the championship.

“I had no intention of making a dent in Ashley’s score today,” Johns admitted.  “I just wanted to be chill, shoot a better round than I did the first two days, and hopefully finish in second place.”

After shooting 76 and 77 on the first two days of the tournament, her final-round 75 was not only good enough for second place, but it was also good enough for the win.  The victory is the second AJGA win for Johns—she also won the 2003 PING Junior at Sunriver Resort.

Tait struggled on the final day, but did retain sole possession of second place with a 71-75-84—230.  Ki-Shui Laio of Alameda, Calif., fired the low Girls Division round of the day, a 72, to finish in a third-place tie with Sydnee Michaels of Temecula, Calif., at 231.

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.

For more information about the Transamerica Junior at Hiwan, please contact tournament national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.