ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Sunriver Resort â€“ Crosswater Course
July 5-9, 2004
PAYNE, PARK AND SMITH TIED AFTER FIRST ROUND OF ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Joh and Pandolfi share lead at two-under-par in the Girls Division
SUNRIVER, Ore. â€“ In one of the American Junior Golf Associationâ€™s most prestigious championships, three players are tied atop the leader board in the Boys Division after the first day of the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
Jordan Payne of West Memphis, Ark., Nicholas Park of Ithaca, N.Y., and Nicholas Smith of Ocala, Fla., all shot 4-under-par 68s.
In the Girls Division, Tiffany Joh of San Diego, Calif., and Jennifer Pandolfi of Navarre, Fla., both fired 2-under-par 70s to put them in a tie for the lead.
The Rolex Tournament of Champions is a 72-hole invitational stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Sunriver Resortâ€™s Crosswater Course. The tournament features 150 players, ages 12-18, from 32 states and seven foreign countries, including Canada, China, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay and South Africa.
The 2004 Rolex Tournament of Champions features 49 Rolex Junior All-Americans and past champions include the likes of Phil Mickelson, Charles Howell III, David Gossett, Grace Park and Beth Bauer.
Payne and Park both started their sub-par rounds early during the dayâ€™s first wave. Payne opened with two straight birdies and attributed them to his success off the tee.
â€śItâ€™s really important for me to get off to a good start,â€ť Payne said. â€śThis feels good and is the biggest tournament Iâ€™ve ever played in.â€ť
Park played his entire round bogey-free, highlighted by four birdies.
â€śI putted pretty well,â€ť Park said. â€śI have to stay focused for every shot and not worry about what I need to shoot.â€ť
As the wind picked up in the afternoon, Smith took advantage of the par 5 holes, playing them in 3-under-par.
â€śI played excellent in the wind,â€ť Smith said. â€śI would have been happy with an even par in this weather.â€ť
Six others are just one shot out of the lead at 3-under-par 69.
Coming off two straight wins, Joh continued her strong play by hitting all 14 fairways on the opening day. Starting on hole No. 10, Joh birdied two of her first four holes and made the turn at 2-under-par.
â€śI was putting pretty well,â€ť Joh said. â€śIt was still challenging adapting to the altitude and the wind.â€ť
Soon to be a Duke Blue Devil golfer, Pandolfi started out slowly and made the turn at 1-over-par. She finished hot, though, making birdie on three of her last four holes.
â€śI was trying to shoot par and stay in it,â€ť Pandolfi said. â€śI played patient and finally started to make some birdies.â€ť
Rolex Girls Champion Julieta Granada of Asuncion, Paraguay, and Sydney Burlison of Salinas, Calif., trail the leaders by just one stroke.
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 largest association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior 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.
The second round of the Rolex Tournament of Champions begins Wednesday off tee Nos. 1 and 10 with two waves beginning at 7:00 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. For more information on the Rolex Tournament of Champions, please call tournament headquarters at (541) 593-3410.