AJGA PING PHOENIX JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
ASU Karsten Golf Course
Tempe, Arizona
August 21-24, 2003

IM, TIFFENBERG, ZIMMERMAN TIE FOR LEAD AT 5-UNDER-PAR 67
Liao, Joh, Woo share tie for lead in Girls Division

TEMPE, Ariz. - Starting early in the morning in an attempt to escape the sweltering Phoenix heat, Daniel Im of La Habra, Calif., Dave Tiffenberg of Tampa, Fla., and Danny Zimmerman of Verona, Wis., ended their first-round of the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship at 5-under-par 67. In the Girls Division, Ki-Shui Liao of Alameda, Calif., Tiffany Joh of San Diego, Calif., and Grace Woo of Burbank, Calif., also finished in a three-way tie for first at 3-under-par 69.

The 54-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features a field of 84 players, 60 boys and 24 girls, with 43 competitors hailing from California. Past champions of the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship include Grace Park and Tiger Woods.

The 18-year-old Im started his day well with a birdie on the first hole. Coupled with a bogey-free round, Im said he is optimistic about the next two rounds of the tournament.

"I was hitting it really well today," Im said. "Some of my tee shots were moving left to right but I was able to manage it. I'm just going to play my own game tomorrow and continue to hit greens and make putts."

Tiffenberg, 17, had an equally impressive day using an aggressive style of play and a solid irons game.

"My irons were on today," Tiffenberg said. "On the No. 2 par-4 I made it to the front-edge of the green with my tee shot and chipped on and putted in for birdie. I know I need to continue to play aggressive since this course will allow for some low numbers."

The 17-year-old Zimmerman used the motivation of three consecutive birdies to keep his game on fire.

"I kept the ball in play all day," Zimmerman said. "I putted well and never had a three-putt. I will continue to play good golf for the next two days and make a few more putts."

Rounding out the top-five in the Boys Division are Jeff Kaiser of Onalaska, Wis., and Geoff Mead of Rapid City, S.D., at 4-under-par 68.

In the Girls Division, Liao, 15, ended her 18 holes with no bogeys and three birdies.

"I was consistent all day," Liao said. "Most of my approach shots were accurate. I know for the second and final rounds I will be in good shape if I keep it in the fairways and make some putts."

The 16-year-old Joh used solid ball striking to go 3-under-par 32 on the front nine and even-par 37 on the back nine.

"I was trying to hit one shot at a time," Joh said. "I was able to keep my drives accurate which prevented me from making any bogeys."

Woo, 15, kept her day moving with birdies on the first two par-5's.

"I was chipping very well today," Woo said. "I am looking to just stay consistent for the next two days."

Second-round play of the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship begins Saturday, August 23, with tee times starting at 6:30 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information on the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship, contact AJGA tournament headquarters at (480) 784-4834 ext. 227 or log on to ajga.org.

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Shreveport, LA
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Davenport, FL
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Lake Mary, FL
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Arcadia, CA
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Chandler, AZ
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Beverly Hills, CA
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Bradenton, FL
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* Won via sudden-death playoff
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