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Traditions Club at Texas A&M
Bryan, Texas • April 9 - 12

Thompson leads the Girls Division by one shot after first day at Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions

BRYAN, Texas — Carl Jonson of Bainbridge Island, Wash., carded six birdies to shoot 3-under-par 69 and stands alone after the opening round at the Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions. In the Girls Division, Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., is leading the field by one stroke after shooting an even-par 72 at the Traditions Club at Texas A&M.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at the Traditions Club at Texas A&M. The tournament field consists of 132 boys and girls, ages 12-18, from 22 states and four foreign countries (Mexico, Canada, Thailand and Colombia). The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 7,072 yards, while the Girls Division is being played at 6,159 yards.

Jonson, 17, resides just outside of Seattle and has never had the lead of a golf tournament at the end of any round and tributes his round to starting off with a good start. Jonson parred the first three holes and birdied two of the next three holes. He thought the winds would have been a little bit stronger similar to the practice round, but said he would keep his normal routine if he wants to continue carding rounds like he did today.

“I was just rolling in the putts, and got in a flow today,” Jonson said nonchalantly. “I just need to keep hitting shot by shot and not worrying about the tough competitive field.”

One shot back in second is Seiji Liu of Beverly Hills, Calif., and tied for third at even-par is Matthew Ceravolo of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Curtis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., and Curtis Reed of Castroville, Texas.

In the Girls Division, Thompson, 14, is back on the course after tying for 21st place last weekend at the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship. She has her sights set to be the first female to defend her title since Candie Kung in 1998-1999. Staring down the first green from a 150 yards away with winds blowing in her face, she pulled out her 7-iron and hit it inside 5 feet for a birdie.

“The conditions were not easy; with the swirling winds and the hilly terrain I am happy to have shot even-par,” Thompson said. “I would really enjoy defending my title; it would be such a big deal to me.”

Marika Liu of Beverly Hills, Calif. and Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif., are tied for second place at 1-over-par 73.

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 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.

Second-round tee times for the Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions will run from 8 — 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 — 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11, off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at the Traditions Club at Texas A&M. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Courtney Jones at (678) 617-9406.