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Green Garden Country Club - Blue Course
Frankfort, Ill. • May 1 - 3

Savich carded a 77 to take the lead in the First Round

FRANKFORT, Ill. — Tim Crouch of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, shot a 4-under-par 68 to lead after the First Round of the Preseason Junior in the Chicago Southland. Ariana Savich of Carmel, Ind., leads the Girls Division with a 5-over-par 77.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior in the Chicago Southland is a 36-hole stroke play event being held at the Green Garden Country Club — Blue Course. The tournament field consists of 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from eight states. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,607 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 5,782 yards.

The Preseason Junior in the Chicago Southland is one of eight events being held as part of the Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series. The Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.

Crouch breezed through the front nine with two birdies and a single bogey to make the turn at 1-under. Crouch started the back nine with two birdies on Nos. 10 and 11, but interrupted his pace when he three putted Nos. 14 and 18 for bogeys. Crouch met a personal goal to finish the par-3s even, but exceeded his expectations by finishing them 1-under.

“My irons have always been the strongest part of my game and I used them well today,” said Crouch. “It just felt easy.”

Nathaniel Khachaturian of Champaign, Ill., finished in second with a 2-under-par 70. Tied for third are Alex Willnow of Adrian, Mich., Emmanuel Petrich of Grand Blanc, Mich., and Austin Avery of Kalamazoo, Mich., with 2-over-par 74s.

Savich went up and down four times on the front nine to save par and made the turn 3-over. The Missouri bound junior has been preparing for this tournament by improving her approach shots and maintaining her usual distance off the tee. Extra practice with putting made the difference for Savich as she one-putted six times during the round including a birdie on the par-3 No. 12.

“It was really hard to hit the fairways today,” said Savich. “The greens were great and my putting saved my game.”

Allyssa Ferrell of Edgerton, Wis., carded a 6-over-par 78 for second place. Tied for third are Jacqueline DeBoer of Byron Center, Mich., Erika Pfaender of Pewaukee, Wis., and Hailey Sheldahl of Ottumwa, Iowa with 7-over-79s.

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 a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.

Golf Academy of America, with campuses located in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando and Myrtle Beach, is the oldest and largest two-year golf career college in the world. GAA's 16-month program balances classroom studies, practical experience and comprehensive understanding of the business of golf. For more information, call 800-342-7342 or visit http://www.golfacademy.edu.

Final-Round tee times for the Preseason Junior in the Chicago Southland will be 7-8:48 a.m. Sunday, May 3 off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information about the Preseason Junior in the Chicago Southland please contact AJGA tournament headquarters at (815) 469-7048.