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Tennessee National Golf Club
Loudon, Tenn. • August 4 - 7


Popson leads Girls Division at Tennessee National Golf Club with 2-under-par 70


LOUDON, Tenn.Colin Chapman of Franklin, N.C., scorched the course with an opening round of 6-under-par 66 to lead the Boys Division at the AJGA Knoxville Junior Open. Erica Popson of Davenport, Fla., is atop the leaderboard in the Girls Division after a round of 2-under-par 70 at Tennessee National Golf Club.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Knoxville Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Tennessee National Golf Club. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 23 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states and Italy. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,210 yards, while the Girls Division is being played at 6,187 yards.

Chapman had only 26 putts for his round, a personal AJGA-best that featured nine birdies and three bogeys.

“The putting was the key because I’m usually not that good of a putter,” Chapman said. “I usually hit the ball well and come off the course complaining about putting.”

One shot behind Chapman in second place after a round of 5-under-par 67 is Nathan Kerns of Ironton, Ohio. John Skeadas of Savannah, Ga., and Billy Stevens of Venice, Fla., are tied for third at 3-under-par 69. In a three-way tie for fifth place at 2-under-par 70 are John Boehme of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Seth Reeves of Duluth, Ga., and Shawn Yim of Buford, Ga. 

Popson, who has verbally committed to the University of Tennessee, made three birdies against only one bogey in her opening round. 

“I was able to hit a lot of fairways and greens, and I had no three-putts,” Popson said. “This is my future hometown so I want to do well.  Hopefully I can keep it going.”

In second place at even-par 72 is Victoria Kiser of Orlando, Fla. In a tie for third place at 1-over-par 73 are Carlie Yadloczky of Casselberry, Fla., and Vanessa Koechli of Greer, S.C.

Megan Murphy of Ooltewah, Tenn., provided the shot of the day with a hole-in-one on the 145-yard par-3 17th.  The ace, made with a 5-iron, propelled Murphy to a 2-over-par 74 and a tie for fifth place with Haley Stephens of Greer, S.C.

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. 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.

            Second-round tee times for the AJGA Knoxville Junior Open will run from 8 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. Wednesday off No. 1 tee at Tennessee National Golf Club. For more information, please call AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (678) 617-9917.