AJGA SLI JUNIOR CLASSIC AT NEW SEABURY
Country Club of New Seabury, Dunes Course
Mashpee, Massachusetts
August 26-29, 2002

MERKOW, YI CAPTURE LEAD AFTER SECOND ROUND AT NEW SEABURY

MASHPEE, Mass. - Chilly morning winds did not prevent David Merkow of Hartland, Wis., from firing a 1-under-par 69 and taking over the second-round lead Wednesday at the AJGA SLI Junior Classic at New Seabury. In the Girls Division, Songyi Yi of San Diego, Calif., emerged with a one-shot lead as the tournament heads into the final day.

The 54-hole event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, is being held on the par-70 layout of the Dunes Course at the Country Club of New Seabury. The national event features 84 players, ages 13-18, representing 20 states.

Despite the change in weather, the 17-year-old Merkow shaved two shots off his opening-round 71, adding a 1-under-par 69 to claim a one-shot lead at even-par 140.

"I knew it was windier today, so I was using more club and swinging easy," Merkow said. "I kept it straight off the tee. I didn't hit it particularly long, but I kept the ball low. Most of the holes are tree-lined, so if you keep it low, the wind won't affect it too much."

Merkow carded four birdies in the round, including a chip-in on the fifth hole.

"I had some mental lapses on the greens," Merkow said. "But my chipping saved me."

Merkow heads into the final round in search of his second AJGA title of the summer, having already won the Marsh Kansas City Junior. His closest competitor is Jeff Wallace of Franklin, Mass., who sits alone in second place, one stroke back at 141.

Shawn Warren of Windham, Maine, David May of Auburn, N.Y., and Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass., are tied for third place, four shots back at 4-over-par 144.

In the Girls Division, Yi carded consistent rounds of 74-75 to take a one-shot lead at 149.
The South Korean-born 15-year-old recovered from a difficult start by making birdies at Nos. 8 and 9. Following three bogeys and two double-bogeys on the first seven holes, Yi chipped in at No. 8 and drained a 20-footer at the ninth.

"I felt much better after that," Yi said. "I felt like I could shoot a low score."
With her confidence restored, Yi made par on each hole of the back nine. Yi credits her accurate driving for her position atop the leaderboard.

Trailing Yi by one shot is first-round leader Marina Choi of Los Angeles, who carded rounds of 73-77-150. Anna Grzebien of Narragansett, R.I., shot rounds of 78-74-152 to stand in third place.

The AJGA SLI Junior Classic at New Seabury concludes Thursday, with tee times running from 7-8:57 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at the Country Club of New Seabury.

For more information on the SLI Junior Classic at New Seabury or the AJGA, please contact tournament headquarters at (508) 539-8322, ext. 237.

 
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