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Persimmon Ridge Golf Club

Louisville, Kentucky

August 2 – 5, 2004



Akin takes the lead in the Girls Division with a 2-over-par 74


LOUISVILLE, Ky. On one of the hottest days of the year in the Bluegrass state, Rickie Fowler and Dusty Koth of the Boys Division shot 2-under-par 70s in the first round of the Nike Golf Junior at Louisville.  Karisa Akin eased ahead of the competition in the Girls Division and came out on top at 2-over. 


The Nike Golf Junior at Louisville is a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. The event features 81 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, ages 12-15, from 22 states. The field is composed of eight Kentucky natives.


Fowler, 15, of Murrieta, Calif., found himself tied for the lead in his first AJGA event.


“It’s very exciting to be in the lead,” he said.  “I didn’t expect much.  I just wanted to come out here and have fun.”


Fowler said he got off to a slow start, but came back on the back nine because he started hitting his shots closer and made more putts.


“For the next two rounds I need to play conservative and play smart,” he said.  “I’m looking forward to playing my game, so hopefully I’ll do well.”


Koth, 15, of Bloomington, Ill., said that he got off to a great start at the beginning of his round. 


“It’s nice to start off strong,” he said.  “Then you don’t have to fight to get back to par.  It also helps to be leading after the first day because you’re in position for the rest of the rounds.”


Behind Fowler and Koth are Brandon Ellis of Westerville, Ohio, Jace Long of Dixon, Mo., and Tom Hoge of Fargo, N.D., at 1-under-par 71.


Akin, 14, of Elizabethtown, Ky., began her morning hoping to shoot a 2-over-par 74 and happily achieved that goal. 


“My best shot was on my final hole of today’s round,” she said.  “On No. 18, I hit it to six inches and tapped in for birdie.”


Akin said she’s looking forward to the second round because she enjoys playing the course. 


“For the rest of the rounds I need to stay solid and consistent,” she said.  “It’s a three-day tournament.  Anything can happen.” 


Following Akin are Eunice Yim of La Canada, Calif., and Jessica Smith of Louisville, Ky., at 5-over-par 77.


Second-round tee times will run from 7 a.m. – 8:57 a.m., Wednesday at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club.


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 U.S.A., a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became an 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, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.


For more information on the Nike Golf Junior at Louisville, contact tournament headquarters at (502) 241-0819