I.R.I. ARIZONA NATIONAL MIXED TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
HOSTED BY ANNIKA SORENSTAM AND JIM FURYK
Arizona National Golf Club
Tucson, Ariz. • May 6 - 8
LEE DUO LEADS AFTER TWO ROUNDS AT MIXED TEAM EVENT
TUCSON, Ariz. — Three-time Rolex Junior All-Americans James Lee of La Habra, Calif., and Jennie Lee (no relation) of Huntington Beach, Calif., took a four-stroke lead with a 12-under-par 130 after the second round of the I.R.I. Arizona National Mixed Team Championship hosted by Annika Sorenstam and Jim Furyk.
The I.R.I. Arizona National Mixed Team Championship hosted by Annika Sorenstam and Jim Furyk is a three-format 54-hole mixed team stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. The tournament features 40 teams comprised of one boy and one girl, from 15 states and Canada.
Thirty-six of the tournament's 54 holes were played Saturday with two different formats. The first round employed modified Scotch while the second round used alternate shot.
The team of Lee and Lee, J Lee Squared, put up solid numbers in the first round, posting a 7-under-par 64, leaving them four strokes behind the first round leaders: Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., and Chad Vivolo of Carmel, Calif.
The difference came in the second round. While most of the rest of the field struggled with the foursome format, the Lees were able to finish the round with a 5-under-par 65 and a four-shot lead.
“We made a lot of putts when we had to and made pars at the right time,” said James. Jennie also attributed some of their success to their long drives and the ability to make some tough saves for par.
The duo pointed out the positives of playing the different formats as a factor to their low scores.
“It's something different and is a lot of fun,” said Jennie. James added, “You don't have to take all the pressure, I could be aggressive with the long putts because I knew that Jennie was going to make it if I missed.”
Both of the Lees are graduating seniors, with James committed to play golf at UCLA in the fall while Jennie will be teeing it up at Duke University.
Sitting behind James and Jennie are the teams of Erik Flores of Grass Valley, Calif., and Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Brian Kim of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., with 8-under-par 134s.
Flores and Choe posted an 8-under-par 63 in the first round, following it up with an even-par 71 in the second round. Flores will be a teammate of James Lee in the fall at UCLA.
The team of Kim and Park posted rounds of 64-70—134 on the day to tie things up with Flores and Choe. Park makes up half of last year's winning team. She teamed up with her cousin Lucas Lee to take top honors at the inaugural I.R.I. Arizona National Mixed Team Championship hosted by Annika Sorenstam and Jim Furyk.
Finishing the day in a tie for fourth with 5-under-par 137s are the teams of Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., and Kylie Fuller of Temecula, Calif.; Vivolo and Harigae; Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla., and Sydney Burlison of Salinas, Calif.; and Jason Kang of Torrance, Calif., and Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif.
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, which enters its third decade of support, 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, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
The final round begins at 7 a.m. Sunday with tee times off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. Sunday's final round will be 18 holes in a Four-Ball format. For more information on the I.R.I. Arizona National Mixed Team Championship hosted by Annika Sorenstam and Jim Furyk, please contact tournament headquarters at (520) 749-3519.