AJGA KROGER JUNIOR INVITATIONAL
Elks Run Golf Club
Batavia, Ohio
August 6-9, 2001

RUSSELL AND REIFERS SHARE FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT KROGER JUNIOR
McConnell holds top spot in the Girls Division

BATAVIA, Ohio-Dublin, Ohio, natives Blake Russell and Kyle Reifers each fired a 3-under-par 68 to share the opening-round lead in the Boys Division at the AJGA Kroger Junior Invitational. Mandi McConnell of Grand Blanc, Mich., carded a 1-over-par 72 to sit atop the leaderboard in the Girls Division.

The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, is being held at the par-71 Elks Run Golf Club. The field features 99 players representing 16 states, Canada and includes 41 juniors from Ohio.

Russell used a strong putter to card six birdies on the day, which included three birdie putts of over 20 feet. The 16-year-old Russell jump-started his round with a quick birdie on the 350-yard, par-4 first hole.

"That birdie on No. 1 really helped, because I didn't do too well on the range before the round," said Russell, who is playing in his first AJGA tournament. "Being able to make putts really helped me out today."

Russell added two more birdies on Nos. 4 and 8 to net a 3-under-par 33 on the front side.

Reifers birdied four of the first six holes on the back nine to get back to under-par for his round. After back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11, the Bishop Watterson senior sank a 35-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole. Reifers concluded his birdie string on the 535-yard, par-5 15th hole with a 9-iron from 160 yards away to within one foot of the hole.

"I felt really confident after my birdie on No. 10," Reifers said. "I need to keep doing the same tomorrow and also work on keeping the ball in the fairway."

Fellow Dublin resident Joel Kraner sits one stroke back after carding a 35-34--69. Brian Kim of Louisville, Ky., and Andy Pope of Glen Ellyn, Ill., round out the top five with even-par 71s.

In the Girls Division, McConnell grabbed three birdies to go along with 11 pars for a consistent 35-37--72. The Grand Blanc High junior sank a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 1 and set up another birdie on the fourth hole with a 5-iron from 165 yards to within five feet.

"I'm really happy with my round today because I've been struggling recently," McConnell said. "If I can improve on making more five to 10-foot putts, I can really play well this week."

Morgan Pressel, who qualified for the U.S. Women's Open earlier this year, carded a 39-34--73 and is one stoke back.

"I played well on the back nine because I improved my putting," said the 13-year-old Pressel. "I need to stay away from bogeys to keep doing well."

Carling Coffing of Middleton, Ohio, is in third place at 3-over-par 74.

Second-round action begins Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. For more information regarding the AJGA Kroger Junior Invitational or other AJGA events, please contact tournament headquarters at (513) 735-6600 ext. 12.

-AJGA-

BATAVIA, Ohio -- First-round results from the AJGA KROGER JUNIOR INVITATIONAL conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Elks Run Golf Club. Par: 36-35--71. Yardage: Boys: 6,623 Girls: 5,720


BOYS DIVISION

Blake Russell (2003) Dublin, Ohio* 33-35--68
Kyle Reifers (2002) Dublin, Ohio* 37-31--68
Joel Kraner (2002) Dublin, Ohio* 35-34--69
Brian Kim (2002) Louisville, Ky.* 34-37--71
Andy Pope (2002) Glen Ellyn, Ill.* 36-35--71
Andrew Thoreson (2002) Marietta, Ga.* 35-38--73
Andrew Stephens (2002) Fort Mitchell, Ky.* 36-37--73
William Branch (2003) Rockwall, Texas* 35-38--73
Cale Barr (2003) Versailles, Ky.* 36-37--73
Matt Cooperrider (2002) Thornville, Ohio* 36-37--73
Tommy Wiegand (2003) Avon Lake, Ohio* 37-36--73
Jason Kokrak (2003) Warren, Ohio* 34-40--74
Matthew Hiatt (2002) Sylvania, Ohio* 38-36--74
Darren Blair (2003) Coto De Caza, Calif.* 34-40--74
Matt Neusel (2003) Dearborn, Mich.* 37-37--74
Brad Marek (2002) Arlington Heights, Ill.* 38-36--74
Michael Haverfield (2004) Louisville, Ky.* 37-37--74
Chris Wilson (2003) Dublin, Ohio* 35-39--74
Matt Savage (2005) Louisville, Ky.* 36-38--74
Justin Fender (2002) New Richmond, Ohio* 37-38--75
Blake Moore (2002) Monrovia, Calif.* 38-37--75
Nick Kenney (2002) Etobicoke, Ontario* 36-39--75
Scott Phegley (2002) Morton, Ill.* 34-41--75
Tristan Lester (2003) Plymouth, Mich.* 38-37--75
Kenton Hobbs (2001) West Chester, Ohio* 34-41--75
Mike Calkin (2002) St Charles, Ill.* 36-39--75
Chris Leake (2002) Centerville, Ohio* 39-36--75
Bennett Smith (2002) Pittsburgh, Pa.* 38-37--75
Michael Bruhn (2002) Delaware, Ohio* 38-38--76
Matt Amis (2001) Terrace Park, Ohio* 39-37--76
Kyle Bush (2002) Carmel, Ind.* 38-38--76
David Newrath (2002) Cincinnati, Ohio* 36-41--77
Charlie Denison (2002) Northbrook, Ill.* 37-40--77
Chris Brock (2002) Chillicothe, Ohio* 36-41--77
David Dankmyer (2002) Gibsonia, Pa.* 40-37--77
Kyle Moore (2004) Dublin, Ohio* 39-38--77
Timothy Moynihan (2003) Murrysville, Pa.* 36-41--77
Greg Koch (2002) Witchia Falls, Texas* 37-40--77
Alex Knoll (2003) Bethlehem, Pa.* 35-43--78
David Killion (2002) Bloomington, Ind.* 37-41--78
Paul Miller (2002) Wheelersburg, Ohio* 38-40--78
Ben Stewart (2002) Maineville, Ohio* 40-38--78
Justin Kruse (2001) Toledo, Ohio* 39-40--79
Bruce Svechota-Kingsbury (2002) Ann Arbor, Mich.* 43-36--79
Tony Bosken (2003) Fairfield, Ohio* 39-40--79
Shawn Standen (2001) Avon Lake, Ohio* 37-42--79
Wes Homan (2002) Cincinnati, Ohio* 36-43--79
Gabriel Borrud (2002) Beaver Dam, Wis.* 41-38--79
Justin Wenger (2002) Indianapolis, Ind.* 36-43--79
Shawn Marshall (2002) North Vernon, Ind.* 38-41--79
Louis Muir (2002) London, Ontario* 39-41--80

Steven Crossley (2002) Las Vegas, Nev.* 41-39--80
Drew Bowen (2002) Monroe, Ga.* 39-41--80
Hank Alexander (2002) Cincinnati, Ohio* 40-40--80
John Locke (2002) Ashland, Ohio* 39-41--80
Joey Buescher (2004) Cincinnati, Ohio* 40-41--81
Jon Merriott (2003) Erie, Pa.* 42-39--81
Todd Block (2002) Cincinnati, Ohio* 41-41--82
Scott Szurek (2002) Bloomfield Hills, Mich.* 38-44--82
Brian Carroll (2002) Crystal Lake, Ill.* 37-45--82
Seth Winkle (2002) Ottawa, Ohio* 38-44--82
Matthew Slovitt (2002) Winnetka, Ill.* 39-44--83
Jihwan Kim (2002) Irvine, Calif.* 41-42--83
CJ Gatto (2003) Columbus, Ohio* 40-43--83
Brian Matlock (2003) Cincinnati, Ohio* 41-42--83
Evan Lamone (2004) Weirton, W.Va.* 42-41--83
Charlie Throgmorton (2003) West Paducah, Ky.* 40-43--83
Gregg Martin (2002) Jefferson Hills, Pa.* 41-43--84
Ross Beal (2003) Uniontown, Ohio* 41-44--85
Tim Seo (2002) Nashville, Tenn.* 38-47--85
Hall Chaney (2002) Lothian, Md.* 47-41--88
Nathan Shevchik (2002) West Chester, Pa.* 43-45--88
Tom Borda (2002) Northville, Mich.* 43-46--89
Russell Filipski (2002) Short Hills, N.J.* 45-47--92
Robert Landers (2001) The Woodlands, Texas* 42-51--93
Chris Childs (2002) Jefferson, Ohio* 44-49--93
Nathan Gerth (2002) North Vernon, Ind.* (DQ 6-8a)
Jared Cupp (2003) Warner Robins, Ga.* (WD-Illness)

GIRLS DIVISION

Mandi McConnell (2003) Grand Blanc, Mich.* 35-37--72
Morgan Pressel (2006) Boca Raton, Fla.* 39-34--73
Carling Coffing (2004) Middleton, Ohio* 37-37--74
Moah Chang (2002) Los Angeles, Calif.* 35-39--74
Julie Harder (2002) Holland, Ohio* 38-37--75
Mandy Goins (2003) Frankfort, Ky.* 38-37--75
Lauren Gebauer (2002) Columbus, Ohio* 41-39--80
Ana Brown (2002) Hamilton, Ohio* 39-42--81
Laura Caniff (2004) Russell, Ky.* 42-40--82
Haley Sawyer (2002) Dublin, Ohio* 42-40--82
Brittany Adams (2002) Huntington, W.Va.* 42-40--82
Romi Irons (2001) Dublin, Ohio* 41-42--83
Elly Leonard (2002) Zionsville, Ind.* 41-42--83
Eunice Yum (2003) Torrance, Calif.* 43-41--84
Brandi Zielinski (2002) Sylvania, Ohio* 42-45--87
Holly Jones (2003) Cincinnati, Ohio* 44-46--90
Meghan Costello (2002) Copley, Ohio* 42-48--90
Kara Vaneck (2002) Westlake, Ohio* 44-49--93
Jenna Cox (2002) Lima, Ohio* 44-50--94
Molly Smyth (2001) Cincinnati, Ohio* 43-52--95
Mary Ann Plunkett (2002) Fort Thomas, Ky.* (DQ 6-6d)

 
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