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Avila Golf & Country Club
Tampa, Fla. • June 25 - 28

Shin, Fu take the lead in their respective divisions at Avila

TAMPA, Fla. — The leaders in both divisions had very similar days at the first round of the First American Title Junior Classic Tuesday. Michelle Shin of Cape Coral, Fla., is atop the Girls Division after firing an opening-day 3-under-par 69 Tuesday. Zhong Yang Fu of Bradenton, Fla., also carded a 3-under-par 69 for the lead in the Boys Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the First American Title Junior Classic is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Avila Golf & Country Club. The 84-player field features players from 13 states, the Cayman Islands and Columbia. The Girls Division is playing at 6,071 yards, while the Boys Division is playing the course at 6,911 yards.

Shin played the course evenly, shooting even-par 36 on the front nine and improving to 3-under-par 33 on the back. She finished the day with four birdies and only one bogey.

“It wasn't a fiery round. I was playing a par game,” Shin said. “I just kept steady and was happy to stumble upon a birdie here and there.”

She said she looks forward to improving her game on the challenging course for the rest of the week.

“I need to make more putts,” Shin said. “The course is not easy, it is definitely a placement course. I just need to keep playing steady.”

Following Shin in the Girls Division is Devon Brown of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., with a 1-over-par 73. Stephanie Kim of Bayside, N.Y., is in third after shooting a 3-over-par 75.

In the Boys Division, Fu improved as the day went on. He carded three birdies and an eagle on holes No. 6 through 11 and that set the tone for his 3-under-par 33 on the back nine.

“Most of everything was perfect today for me,” Fu said. “But compared to my other clubs, my irons were not that good.”

Fu looks to keep steady with what was working for him Tuesday and improve the rest of his game for the two remaining tournament rounds.

“I hit a lot of fairways and my chipping was good, so I want to keep that going,” Fu said. “If the other parts of my game can get better then I will be good.”

Zeyu He of Bradenton, Fla., is in second place in the Boys Division after shooting a 2-under-par 70. In third with a score of 1-underr-par 71 is Jay Woodward of Hilton Head Island, S.C. Joseph Byun of Lake Mary, Fla., Sterling Searcy, Jr., of Vero Beach, Fla., and Daniel Charen of Langhorne, Pa., are all tied for fourth after shooting even-par 72s.

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 25 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 is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.

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.

For more information on the First American Title Junior Classic, please contact tournament headquarters at (813) 968-5285.