SPRINT JUNIOR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
hosted by the LAS VEGAS FOUNDERS
Boulder Creek Golf Club
Boulder City, Nevada
June 16-19, 2003
COOVER CAPTURES FIRST ROUND
LEAD AT LAS VEGAS Choe, Lee share top spot in Girls Division
BOULDER CITY, Nev. — Erik Coover
of Scottsdale, Ariz., raced to the opening-day lead in the
Boys Division at the Sprint Junior Golf Championship hosted
by the Las Vegas Founders with a 5-under-par 67. Esther Choe
of La Quinta, Calif., and Jennie Lee of Huntington Beach,
Calif., share the lead in the Girls Division, shooting 1-under-par
71s to gain a two-stroke lead over the field.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 54-hole
event is being held at the par-72 Boulder Creek Golf Club.
The field features 84 players, ages 13-18, from eight states,
including 12 Las Vegas-area residents.
The 16-year-old Coover started strong, carding a birdie on
the 378-yard, par-4 first hole and an eagle on the 508-yard,
par-5 fifth hole to finish the front nine at 3-under-par.
After hitting 17 greens in regulation and having only 32 putts
for the day, Coover sits atop the leaderboard with a 67.
Coover qualified for the tournament on Sunday afternoon and
looks to score his first top-10 finish this week in Boulder
"I've been playing really great the last couple of weeks,"
he said. "I'm really confident right now, so I'm looking
forward to two more low rounds. You can go pretty low if the
conditions are right and today we had perfect conditions."
Brett Kanda of La Crescenta, Calif., Chad Wilcox of Peoria,
Ariz., and David McDaniel of Tucson, Ariz., are tied for second
place with first-round scores of 68, trailing Coover by only
Kanda had two birdies on the front nine and his highlight
of the day came with an eagle on the 551-yard, par-5 13th
"I played pretty solid. I had no three-putts, and I only
missed one fairway. I didn't make many mistakes," Kanda
said. "I want to play consistently tomorrow. I need to
let it come to me, and not get too aggressive. I want to play
just like today."
Wilcox had a hot streak on his back nine, carding birdies
on Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 7, totaling six birdies for the day.
"This course will yield a lot of low scores," he
said. "You can't afford to make many bogeys out here.
I need to keep going low."
Also tied for second, McDaniel added first-round excitement
with a hole-in-one on the 181-yard, par-3 12th hole en route
to his 69 finish.
"I couldn't see it from the tee box," McDaniel said.
"But I saw arms flying near the green and I knew it was
California natives, Tim Cha of Chino Hills, Ryan Block of
Temecula, and Kyle Dowden of Somis, are tied for fifth place
at 3-under-par 69.
In the Girls Division, Choe and Lee hold a two-stroke lead
after first-round play.
Choe, 13, shaved four strokes off her Sunday qualifying-round
score of 75 at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Choe played consistent
golf Tuesday with only one bogey and two birdies.
"I am putting really well," Choe said. "I want
to keep playing my game, hole-by-hole against the course."
Lee, 16, had four bogeys and five birdies Tuesday. Her 1-under-par
round puts her in good position, but she still sees room for
"My score was okay, but I didn't play that great. I want
to putt better, chip better, and just hit the ball better
tomorrow," Lee said.
Tiffany Joh of San Diego, Calif., trails Choe and Lee in third
place with a 1-over-par 73.
Second-round action continues at 7 a.m. Wednesday off the
No. 1 and 10 tees at the Boulder Creek Golf Club. For more
information about the AJGA Sprint Junior Golf Championship
hosted by the Las Vegas Founders, please call tournament headquarters
at (702) 294-6534 or visit ajga.org.
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