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Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif. • June 22 - 25

Kang ahead of Girls Division field by one stroke

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif., caught fire in Tuesday's first round of the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior shooting a 7-under-par 65. Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks, Calif., battled the heat to take the lead after shooting a 3-under-par 69.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Mission Hills Country Club — Dinah Shore Tournament Course. The tournament field features 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from five states and Thailand. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course from 7,078 yards, while the Girls Division is playing at 6,172 yards.

In his first AJGA tournament this season, Weaver went unconscious recording 10 birdies on the day including a streak of seven in a row on Nos. 7-13. He started off his round 2-over-par through five holes which included a four-putt on No. 3. But with a hot putter, he managed to tie his lowest competitive round of 65 and took the lead in the Boys Division by five shots.

“I got on a role and didn't really miss a shot,” Weaver said. “I was flagging everything and the only long putt I had to make was a 20 footer on No. 10.”

Sitting in second place in the Boys Division are Steven Kearney of Carlsbad, Calif., Preston Valder of Yorba Linda, Calif., Jake Katz of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Jeffrey Wells of Redondo Beach, Calif., all log jammed with 2-under-par 70s.

Kang, a 2008 honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American, started the day off right recording birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 and managed to keep the momentum going the entire round finishing with a 3-under-par 69. Her round was almost flawless with her lone bogey coming on the 494-yard par-5 11th hole. Despite her good play, she struggled a bit with her driving.

“I haven't been hitting my driver very well,” Kang said. “I hit it way right off No. 18 tee but was able to scramble and ended up making par.”

In the Girls Division, Jessica Vasilic of Anaheim Hills, Calif., shot a 2-under-par 70 to sit alone in second. Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., is in third after shooting a 1-under-par 71.

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 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.

Second-round tee times for the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior will run from 6:30- 8:18 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Wednesday at the Mission Hills Country Club. For more information, please contact the Tournament Director Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana, at (760) 324-9400.