Mission Hills Country Club, Palmer Course
Rancho Mirage, California
June 23-26, 2003

Cochran posts 2-under-par 70 in painful round

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.- Torrance, Calif., natives Jason Kang and Amie Cochran sit atop the leaderboard after opening-day action at the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills. Kang carded a 64 Tuesday, marking the lowest round of his career, while Cochran struggled to keep her shoes on as she played with blisters to finish 2-under-par.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills marks the 21st annual tournament at the Mission Hills Country Club and is the longest-running tournament on the AJGA schedule. This 54-hole event features a field of 84 players from 11 states and Canada.

Kang, 15, was on fire, posting eight birdies for the day; three consecutively on the front nine and five more on the back. With only 25 putts for the day, Kang credits his putting for much of his success in the first round.

"I was confident today," he said. "My long game was good, but my putting was better. I felt in-control."

In his third AJGA event to-date, Kang leads the division for the first time.

"It feels great," Kang said. "My goal was to shoot 2-under-par or better, so I achieved my goal. I am just looking to do it again tomorrow."

Trailing Kang, Chad Moscovic of Stockton, Calif., is in second place after carding a 66, and Elliott Wainwright of Hillsborough, Calif., stands in third with a 5-under-par 67. Daniel Im of La Habra, Calif., is in fourth after shooting a 68, while Joey Benedetti of Huntington Beach, Calif., posted a 3-under-par 69 to round out the top-5.

In the Girls Division, Polo Golf Junior All-American, Amie Cochran is in the lead, posting a 2-under-par 70. Cochran had four birdies and two bogeys, and although she made it look easy, Cochran's 2-under-par round was anything but effortless.

Cochran overcame the odds Tuesday as she played a painful round in brand new shoes. The highlight of Cochran's crazy round came on holes 10 and 11 where she carded a birdie and par, respectively, in her socks.

"It was very traumatic," Cochran said. "By the fifth hole my ankles were bleeding, and I had to finish the round in my tennis shoes."

Cochran looks to have continued success this week, in her own shoes.

"This is the first tournament without my parents and I want them to see that I can do this. I want to play well for myself too, but I want them to know that its okay if they can't be here."

Looking to challenge Cochran this week are four California girls tied for second place at even-par 72; Sydnee Michaels of Temecula, Ki-Shui Liao of Alameda, Tiffany Joh of San Diego and CJ Kim of Rowland Heights.

Also featured in the field, recent U.S. Women's Open qualifier, 13-year-old, Sydney Burlison of Salinas, Calif., shot a 75, putting her in 9th place after first-round play.

Second-round play begins Wednesday with tee times starting at 6:30 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10.

For more information on the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills, please call AJGA tournament headquarters at (760) 324-9400.


Polo Golf Rankings
1. Philip Barbaree
Shreveport, La.
2. Chun-an Yu
Taoyuan, Taiwan
3. Eugene Hong
Sanford, Fla.
4. Davis Shore
Knoxville, Tenn.
5. Won Jun Lee
(South Korea) Wesley Chapel, Fla.
1. Hannah O'Sullivan
Chandler, Ariz.
2. Mariel Galdiano
Pearl City, Hawaii
3. Andrea Lee
Hermosa Beach, Calif.
4. Kristen Gillman
Austin, Texas
5. Kaitlyn Papp
Austin, Texas
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