hp JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP AT ABACOA
Abacoa Golf Club
Jupiter, Florida
July 15-18, 2002

JEON GRABS EARLY LEAD AT ABACOA WITH CAREER-LOW ROUND
Hage, Erasmus tied for top spot in Girls Division

JUPITER, Fla. - Song Jeon of Ocala, Fla., carded seven birdies en route to a career-low 6-under-par 66 Tuesday to pace the Boys Division after the first round of the AJGA hp Junior Championship at Abacoa. In the Girls Division, Nicole Hage of Coral Springs, Fla., and Charmaine Erasmus of Bradenton, Fla., posted matching 1-under-par 71s to lead the way.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA hp Junior Championship at Abacoa is being held at the par-72 Abacoa Golf Club and features 84 of the top junior golfers in the country, representing 16 states, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru. The field also features 59 Florida natives.

Starting on the back nine, Jeon birdied Nos. 11 and 15 to help him make the turn at 1-under-par. The 16-year-old kept the momentum on the front with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 before adding another on No. 5 to move to 4-under for the day.

"I just tried to hit my target today," Jeon said. "I wasn't thinking about making birdies. I only hit 11 greens today, but if I hit a green, I would make a birdie."

Jeon drained a 20-footer for birdie on No. 7 before notching his fifth birdie on the front nine on the par-3, 190-yard eighth-hole.

"I missed a six-footer to the right on No. 9 for birdie," said Jeon, who finished a shot away from the tournament record. "I made every putt today except for the last hole. I'm going to try to do my best again tomorrow and hopefully be a little more accurate with my driver."

Orlando, Fla., natives Greg Koch and Giwon Suh posted 3-under-par 69s to sit in a tie for second. Suh tallied four birdies on the day, while Koch recovered from a 2-over-par 38 on his front nine with a 5-under-par 31 on the back, that included a string of four straight birdies.

Tyler Hitchcock, also of Orlando, Dave Tiffenberg of Tampa, Fla., and Brad Doster of Winter Park, Fla., are tied for fourth at 70.

Hage, fresh off her appearance in the U.S. Women's Open, played a steady opening round, carding three birdies and two bogeys.

"I hit my irons well today and drove the ball well. Everything went pretty good," said Hage, who hit 14 of 18 greens. "I had a lot of wedge shots I could have got a lot closer if I would have spun them more, so I know what I need to do for tomorrow."

Erasmus, who was co-medalist in Sunday's qualifer, posted her first career under-par round with a 71. The 17-year-old was 3-under-par through 11 holes before making a double-bogey on No. 12. Erasmus was able to make par the rest of the way to hang onto a share of the lead.

"I didn't make many mistakes today," Erasmus said. "My putting was working well today. My whole short game was working well today. I'm just going to stick with what I've been doing for tomorrow."

Lisa Tyler of Lighthouse Point, Fla., rounds out the top three with a 1-over-par 73.

Second-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, July 17, off the No. 1 and 10 tees at Abacoa Golf Club.

For more information on the AJGA hp Junior Championship at Abacoa, please call tournament headquarters at (561) 656-2601.

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Irving, TX
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Rockland, MA
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