TAYLORMADE-adidas GOLF JUNIOR AT CHATEAU ELAN
Chateau Elan Golf Club â€“ Chateau Course
April 9-11, 2004
KISHIGIAN, KIZZIRE LEAD BOYS DIVISION AT CHATEAU ELAN
Hetzel credits solid iron play for opening-round 68 to lead Girls Division
BRASELTON, Ga. â€“ Benjamin Kishigian of Warner Robins, Ga., and Patton Kizzire of Tuscaloosa, Ala., each fired a 67 to share the Boys Division lead after the first round of the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan. Summerville, S.C., native Mallory Hetzel shot a 3-under-par 68 to pull three shots clear of the Girls Division field.
The TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 132 players â€“ ages 12-18 â€“ from 22 states and Canada. The 36-hole stroke play event is being played on the par-71 Chateau Course at Chateau Elan Golf Club. Chateau Elan Resort is home to the AJGAâ€™s National Headquarters.
Beginning his round on hole No. 10, Kishigian made two birdies and two bogeys to finish at even-par 35 for his first nine holes. Kishigian then made four birdies and no bogeys on his final nine holes to score 35-32â€”67.
â€śIâ€™ve been hitting the ball well the last few weeks and I just wanted to keep doing what I was doing,â€ť Kishigian said. â€śMy iron play was on today, everything was solid.â€ť
Kizzireâ€™s round featured three birdies and one bogey on both the front and back nines. The high school senior credited his focus on his putting as the key to the dayâ€™s success, as he finished the round with only 25 putts.
â€śI putted well,â€ť Kizzire said. â€śI just gave myself opportunities and took advantage of them most of the time. Iâ€™ve been working on my putting and that just gave me some confidence.â€ť
Seth Brandon of Dalton, Ga., Mark Harrell of Hazlehurst, Ga., and Phillip Mollica of Anderson, S.C., sit one shot back at 68 in a tie for second.
In the Girls Division, Hetzel hit many of her approaches close to the hole, collecting birdies on holes 8, 11, 17 and 18, with a bogey on No. 7. The Summerville High School junior focused on what she termed her â€śin-betweenâ€ť shots in the days leading up to the tournament.
â€śIâ€™ve been working on the shots when I have to really choke down on the club,â€ť Hetzel said. â€śI was hitting my irons within 15 feet all day.â€ť
With her iron play in full gear, Hetzel gave herself several opportunities for birdie.
â€śI was just trying to stay patient over my putts because they werenâ€™t falling until later in the round.â€ť
On the back nine alone, Hetzel had one-putts on Nos. 11, 12, 13, 17 and 18.
Trailing Hetzel heading into tomorrowâ€™s final round is first team Rolex Junior All-American In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla., who shot an even-par 71. Tied for third at 72 are Susannah Aboff of Huntington, N.Y., and Laura Crawford of Lancaster, S.C., while Jacqui Concolino of Orlando, Fla., and Liebelei Lawrence of Bradenton, Fla., shot 73 to sit in a tie for fifth.
This is the 11th annual AJGA Easter Weekend event in Atlanta. Beth Bauer, the 2002 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year, won this event five straight years (1994-98) during her junior days. Charles Howell III won alongside Bauer in 1996. Last yearâ€™s U.S. Womenâ€™s Amateur Champion Virada Nirapathpongporn took home top honors twice (1999-2000) before heading to Duke University. Four University of Georgia golfers won this event before they left the junior ranks: Erik Compton (1998); Christo Greyling (1999-2000); Whitney Wade (2002); and Chris Kirk (2003).
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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGAâ€™s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Associationâ€™s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.