I.R.I. GOLF GROUP TRI-CITIES JUNIOR AT SUN WILLOWS
Sun Willows Golf Course
August 17-20, 2004
PASCO, Wash. – Playing in her first career AJGA event, Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, fired a first-round 3-under par 69, setting the women’s course record at Sun Willows Golf Course. The 12-year-old took advantage of consistent putting, finishing with nines of 36 and 33, and holds a 2-stroke lead in the Girls Division. Jason Kang of Torrance, Calif., carded a 66 to pace the Boys Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the I.R.I. Golf Group Tri-Cities Junior at Sun Willows is a 54-hole stroke play event, being held at the Sun Willows Golf Course. The tournament features 120 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, from 15 states and Canada, including 47 players from Washington.
Kim, who will be entering the eighth grade, avoided trouble throughout her round and was able to make birdies when she knocked the ball close. She credited her ability to stick her approach shots close to the flag, leaving her with short birdie opportunities. Kim’s birdies came on Nos. 5, 11, 12 and 18.
The previous women’s record at Sun Willows was a 71, which Kim broke, thanks to a couple of clutch saves.
“Most of my putts were short,” Kim said. “On No. 11, I was able to chip-in from the rough, and then on No. 12, I made a six-foot putt for birdie. I tried to stay away from the out-of-bounds throughout the round,” she noted.
Kim’s only trouble during the first round came on No. 9. She hit her drive into the trees on the 361-yard par-4 and was forced to chip out. She bogeyed the hole and made the turn at even-par. Kim would continue to play out of the rough throughout the back-nine, but she was able to make par saves and sink her short putts.
"I don’t want to do bad tomorrow,” Kim said. “There are two more days of play, and I want to continue to play well.”
Trailing Kim, after shooting first-round 71s are Amber Lundskog of San Diego, Calif., and Sarah Thead of Poway, Calif. Both players sit two-strokes back after the first day. Grace Woo of Burbank, Calif., shot an even-par 72 and sits alone in fourth place.
Kang began his day slowly, but he calmed down after making a birdie on No. 5 and continued from there.
“I didn’t feel comfortable off the tee,” Kang said. “The key to the course is to keep it in bounds and that is what I was able to do. The birdie on No. 5 got me relaxed and all my nerves went away,” he said.
Kang leads a group of players including Joel Dahmen of Clarkston, Wash., Andrew Patipaksiri of Cypress, Calif., David Lipsky of La Canada, Calif., and Matthew Pierce, Jr., of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. All four players shot first-round 68s and sit two shots back. A total of twenty boys shot rounds under-par during the first-round.
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.
Second-round tee times will begin Thursday at 7:00 a.m. and conclude at 12:51 p.m. at the Sun Willows Golf Course. For more information on the I.R.I. Golf Group Tri-Cities Junior at Sun Willows, please contact tournament headquarters at (509) 545-3440, and ask for the AJGA.