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WindStone Golf Club
Ringgold, Ga. • June 6 - 9

Wang in contention as defending champion

RINGGOLD, Ga. —  After the first round at the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic, Blake Stark of Canton, Ga., leads the Boys Division with a 3-under-par 67. Candace Schepperle of Hoover, Ala., finished her first round at 1-under-par to lead the Girls Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic is being held at the WindStone Golf Club. Ninety-nine junior golfers from 14 states, Canada and Peru, including 37 from Georgia, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.

Stark, coming off a tie for fourth-place at the Fidelity Investments Junior Championship in Humble, Texas, finished the round with four birdies. He said, despite missing some close putts, he thought he played well.

“I felt pretty confident coming in today,” he said. “I'm going to work on my putting before the next round, though.”

Stark will be attending the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in the fall.

Wes Roach of Knoxville, Tenn., Rob Bennett of Augusta, Ga., and Cameron Lawrence of Brentwood, Tenn., finished with a first-round score of 2-under-par 68. Brandon Bunn, also of Knoxville, Tenn., Martin Bunt of Pensacola, Fla., Hunter Slatton of Huntington, Ind., and Hudson Swafford of Tallahassee, Fla., finished with a 1-under-par 69.

Leading after the first round of the event, Schepperle said she still could have played better.

“I was happy with how I was hitting off the tee,” she said.

Schepperle birdied Nos. 7, 8 and 9 to give her a 2-under-par 33 on the front nine. Despite another three birdies on the back nine, Schepperle finished her last nine holes 1-over-par, but still managed a first round score of a 1-under-par 69.

“I was trying to stay as patient as I could,” Schepperle said. “I was pretty calm all day.”

Kyu Ri Ban of Duluth, Ga., finished second with a first-round score of 33-37—70. Rounding out the top-three finishers was Catherina Wang of Orlando, Fla., with a 36-35—71. Wang is defending her title as the 2004 Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic champion.

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, the largest Association of its kind, 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, 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, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.

Second-round tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on the No. 1 tee at the WindStone Golf Club. For more information, call tournament headquarters at (706) 965-2542.