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Hiwan Golf Club
Evergreen, Colo. • June 12 - 15

First-round leader Rah sits one shot back

EVERGREEN, Colo. — Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., shot a 2-over-par 72 Thursday to take the lead at the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Girls Junior Championship with a two-round total of 142. Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., who held the lead after the first round, rebounded from a rough front nine to finish the second round one shot behind Harigae at 3-over-par 143.

Conducted by the AJGA, the Rolex Girls Junior Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Hiwan Golf Club. The 83-player field features juniors from 24 states, Canada, Mexico and Japan. The course is being played at 6,361 yards.

Harigae built a three-stroke lead on the front nine, then shot a 1-under-par 34 on the back to hold off a hard-charging Rah.

“The course played a lot tougher today,” Harigae said. “I had a lot of great par saves and that kept me going. Tomorrow, I just have to take my time and not make the mistakes. This is a tough golf course and anything can happen.”

Rah finished the final two holes birdie-birdie en route to a 3-under-par back nine. Her second shot on No. 18 hit the flagstick and stopped 18 inches from the cup. She converted the putt to put a finish on an up-and-down day that included an 8-over-par front nine.

“I just kept playing,” Rah said. “I didn’t get mad or let it affect me. I was happy to finish and feel a lot better going into tomorrow.”

Jessica Wallace of Langley, British Columbia, is currently in third place, three shots back at 145 following a 1-over-par 71. Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu, Hawaii, is in fourth place, five shots behind the leader at 147. Kayley Kempton of Littleton, Colo., and Allie White of Lancaster, Ohio, round out the top five at 8-over-par 148.

Along with Kempton, Colorado players in the field include Becca Huffer of Denver tied for 12th place at 152, and Brooke Collins of Louisville tied for 41st at 159.

Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. Along with sponsoring the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, Rolex is also the title partner of the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the proprietors of the Rolex Junior All-America Teams.

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 49 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.

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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.

Friday’s final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at Hiwan Golf Club. For more information about the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, please contact AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (303) 674-3366 ext. 324.