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Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club
Miromar Lakes, Fla. • June 12 - 15

AJGA newcomers English and Howard lead despite delay

MIROMAR LAKES, Fla.— Stormy skies and a weather delay did not dissuade Kyle English, 15, of Bloomington, Ill., and Ginger Howard, 12, of Bradenton, Fla., from completing a solid first round at the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers is a 54-hole stroke-play competition that features 76 boys and girls, ages 12-15, from 20 states and three foreign countries. The Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club is hosting the event for the third consecutive year.

In the Boys Division, English, who tied for second at the Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau last week in his first AJGA event, fired a 4-under-par 68 Tuesday to take the lead.

“I birdied Nos. 8 and 9, so going into the back nine I was 4-under-par,” English said.

English is planning on starting brand new mentally for Wednesday's second round of the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers.

“I'll pretend I'm starting out on a new slate,” English said. “You don't want to think about the previous round.”

Michael Smith of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., shot a 1-under-par 71 to sit alone in second. Michael Motz of Alpharetta, Ga., Dean Hester of Dublin, Ga., Sam Braver of Roswell, Ga., Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Ala., and Cameron Wilson of Rowayton, Conn., shot even-par 72s to tie for third on the day.

In the Girls Division, not even a slippery club could keep Howard from carding a 73 at her first ever AJGA event. She attributed her success to her consistent putting.

“I never start off with a birdie and I did today.” Howard said. “After the second hole, I knew I was going to shoot in the 70s because usually I don't make 10-footers, but I was really nailing them all day.”

Finishing one stroke behind Howard in second was Carlie Yadloczky of Casselberry, Fla., with a 74. Lauren English of Bloomington, Ill., fired a 75 to finish in third and Christina Miller of Bradenton, Fla., carded a 76 to sit alone in fourth.

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 compiled 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.

The second round of the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers will be held at the Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees, Wednesday, June 14, with tee times running from 7-8:48 a.m. For more information please contact tournament headquarters at (239) 482-7644 ext. 225.