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Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. • June 16 - 19

Kim one shot behind at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. — Defending champion Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., made her way back to the top of the leaderboard after Thursday's second round of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship after shooting even-par 72 for a two-day total of even-par 144. Right behind her, only one shot back is Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, sitting at 1 over-par 145.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rolex Girls Junior Championship is 54-hole stroke play event being held at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. The tournament field features 78 of the best junior girl golfers in the nation, ages 12-18, from 15 states, Colombia, Mexico and Canada, including 23 Rolex Junior All-Americans and 18 players who have signed National Letters of Intent. The par-72 course is playing at 6,207 yards.

Tanco started the round off strong and despite the small, fast greens the 15-year-old maintained a strong short game, finishing the front nine with only 10 putts at 1-under-par 35. The 2008 Rolex Junior Player of the Year refused to succumb to the pressure of being the defending champion, making birdies on Nos. 4, 9 and 14.

“I don't think about it [the pressure],” Tanco said. “I just try to go out and play golf.”

Kim tops the pack of 15 players who all sit within five strokes of the lead. Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., finished the round in third shooting a 3-over-par 75 for a two-day total of 2-over-par 146. Ani Gulugian of Irvine, Calif., Hana Lee of Hacienda Heights, Calif., Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif., Grace Na of Oakland, Calif., and Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., are tied for fourth, each shooting two-day totals of 3-over-par 147.

Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. Along with sponsoring the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, Rolex is also the title partner of the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the proprietors of the Rolex Junior All-America Teams.

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. 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.

Final-round tee times for the Rolex Girls Junior Championship will run from 7- 8:51 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Friday at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. For more information, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (858) 756-1182 ext. 117.