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Carlton Oaks Country Club
Santee, Calif. • August 4 - 7

Lee leads Girls Division by two stokes going into the final round

SANTEE, Calif. — Steven Kearney of Carlsbad, Calif., carded five birdies on the day to shoot the lowest score of the tournament thus far. He has the Boys Division lead by one stroke going into the final round of the Emerson Junior Golf Classic. Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., carded the Girls Division second-round low 3-over-par 75 to hold a two-day total of 3-over-par 147.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Emerson Junior Golf Classic is a 54-hole stroke-play event being held at Carlton Oaks Country Club. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from seven states and China. Eighty-five hail from the home state of California. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 layout at 7,003 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,152 yards.

Kearney, who carded a 2-under-par 34 on both the front and back nine, now feels comfortable with his position going into the final round. After 36 holes, he sits at 3-under-par 141.

“It was my goal to be close to the lead going into tomorrow,” said Kearney. “This is even better. I didn't short-side myself today and only missed a few fairways. I'm still going to play the same game by not putting myself in tough spots and not being super conservative.”

In second behind Kearney is Benjamin Thorseth of Richmond, Texas, with a 2-under-par 142. Tied for third with 1-over-par 145s are Matthew Negri of El Cajon, Calif., and Alex Bungert of Orange, Calif. Boris Stantchev of Long Beach, Calif., Chris Capo of Woodland Hills, Calif., Yi Keun Chang of Walnut, Calif., and Joseph Stewart of Palm Desert, Calif., are all tied for fifth at 2-over-par 146 going into the final round.

While not completely satisfied with her overall round performance, Lee felt that her driver worked well. She hit 13 fairways on the day and tallied one birdie on the par-5 No. 3.

“I was trying to focus on hitting the middle of the greens today and at the most, two-putting,” said Lee. “I really just want to play it safe with this course.”

In a three-way tie for second in the Girls Division at 5-over-par 149 are Monica Petchakan of Encino, Calif., Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, and Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, Calif.

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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 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.

Tee times for the final round of the Emerson Junior Golf Classic will run from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at Carlton Oaks Country Club Thursday, August 7. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Chris White at (770) 601-5196.