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South Padre Island Golf Club - The Bay Course
South Padre Island, Texas • May 12 - 14



Aoki sits atop leaderboard in Girls Division

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TexasJuan Pablo Hernandez of Mexico City fired an opening-round 70, despite strong winds, to take the lead at the Nike Golf Junior at South Padre Island. In the Girls Division, Serena Aoki of Gunma-Ken, Japan, took the first-round lead following a 2-under-par 70.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at South Padre Island is being held at South Padre Island Golf Club in South Padre Island, Texas. Part of the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series, the Nike Golf Junior at South Padre Island is a 36-hole stroke play event consisting of 61 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-15, from 21 states, Japan, Mexico, and Canada. The par-72 golf course is playing to 6,776 yards for the boys and 5,851 for the girls.

                Despite a double bogey on No. 15, the five birdies carded by Hernandez were enough to propel him to the top of the leaderboard.

                “I played pretty well today despite the double (bogey) on the par-3 sixth,” commented Hernandez. “It was very windy, which made the greens fast, but I feel that I controlled the ball well and had a good round overall.”

                Hernandez, 15, is looking to improve on his best AJGA finish to date, second at the 2005 Nike Golf Junior at Fox Hills.

                David James of Warren, Mich., carded a birdie and an eagle during his opening-round 71, good for second. Texas natives, Jordan Rumora of Houston, Thomas Birdsey of The Woodlands and Will Byk of Austin, carded matching 72s, tying them for third following the first round of play.

                In the Girls Division, Aoki, a 2008 graduate, carded four birdies in her first AJGA event and is excited with her first round.

                “I really enjoyed my time out here today,” remarked Aoki, who had only 1 bogey during Saturday’s round. “Despite the wind, everything went really well and I hope to play even better tomorrow.”

With an opening-round 74, Victoria Fallgren of Lakewood, Calif., is currently in second, followed by Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ontario, who carded a 76 and sits in third.

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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 – 15 years old. The competitions provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into open tournaments The series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, September 1 – 3, 2006, at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore.

Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in 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 compiles more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.

Final-round tee times begin at 8 a.m. Sunday off Nos. 1 and 10 tees at South Padre Island Golf Club. For more information on the Nike Golf Junior at South Padre Island, please contact Tournament Director Allison Akin at (678) 227-9191.