Winnetka Golf Club
Winnetka, Illinois
June 11-14, 2002

Ashley Knoll leads the Girls Division by two strokes

WINNETKA, Ill. -- Ninety-nine players weathered through the early morning mist and cold temperature in the first round of the AJGA Golfweek Chicago Junior Wednesday at the Winnetka Golf Club in Winnetka, Ill. Four boys lead the Boys Division at 1-under-par 70. Honorable mention Polo Golf Junior All-American Ashley Knoll of The Woodlands, Texas, leads by two strokes in the Girls Division after shooting an opening low round of 71.

Hosted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 54-hole tournament features 99 players from 22 states and Canada, including 42 Illinois natives. Past tournament champions include David Duval, Kellee Booth and Leigh Anne Hardin. Four Polo Golf Junior All-Americans are included in this week's field.

Michael Schachner of Libertyville, Ill., entered the clubhouse with an opening low round of 70. Fellow Illinois native Eric Meierdierks of Wilmette followed eight groups later to tie with Schachner. Patrick Herzog of Red Wing, Minn., and Josh Persons of Fargo, N.D., also wrapped up the first day of competition at 1-under-par 70.

"I feel good about today's round," Meierdierks said. "I hit the ball off the tee and my irons really well. I stuck to my game plan and I ended up playing a good round."

With two rounds still left to play, the players at the top don't plan on changing a thing.

"I have to play aggressive and shoot low," Herzog said. "I'll approach it the same way because you never know which way it's going to go when it comes to golf."

David Shearer of Charlevoix, Mich., Bradley Wissmueller of Wausau, Wis., Stephen Mayo, Jr. of Austin, Texas, and Ross Hamann of Lakeville, Minn., rounded out the boys top five at even par.

In the Girls Division, Texas native Ashley Knoll finished the first round shooting a 1-over-par 72 to take the lead. The 17-year-old is well aware that tough competition only fuels confidence.

"I felt no pressure playing today," said Knoll. "If anything, it gives me more confidence to do well in the next round."

Kylene Pulley of Kokomo, Ind., and Second-Team Polo Golf Junior All-American Whitney Wade of Glasgow, Ky., trail Knoll by three strokes and round out the top three girls at 74.

Second-round action will begin Thursday from 6:30-11:18 a.m. off the Winnetka Golf Club's No. 1 tee.

For more information on the Golfweek Chicago Junior, please contact tournament headquarters at (847) 501-5796.


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