Saddleback Golf Club
Firestone, Colorado
July 1-4, 2002

Svicarovich wins wire-to-wire

FIRESTONE, Colo. -Jordan Nasser of Anaheim Hills, Calif., snagged the win after a two-hole sudden-death playoff with Michael Baird of Castle Rock, Colo. at the AJGA Marisco Funds Colorado Junior Roundup. Kristen Svicarovich of Hillsboro, Ore., held onto her wire-to-wire lead by shooting 1-under-par 71 to claim first place in the Girls Division while Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., was hotter than the Colorado heat. Hong played a personal best and course tournament record low of 6-under-par 66.

The 54-hole championship, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, was hosted by the 7,014-yard, par-72 Saddleback Golf Club and featured 84 players from 18 states, with 37 players hailing from Colorado.

After shooting a 3-under-par 69 in the final round, Nasser, 18, was tied for the tournament with Baird and his low final-round score of 5-under par 67. Nasser said the first hole of the playoff got him ready for his birdie on the second.

"I had about an 80-foot putt across three tiers that I didn't expect to two-putt," Nasser said. "I felt really relieved after that and much more relaxed."

Coming into the tournament, Nasser said he had the confidence to win because of his golf coach at home.

"Before I came here Jay Prestella, my golf coach, said, 'You're going to win this thing - you're just swinging too well,'" Nasser said.

Throughout the round the level-of-play that Baird put out motivated Nasser to not let up on his game.

"Watching Michael make all those birdies helped me to get going and make some of my own," Nasser said. "He could have won just as easily as I did."

Baird, 17, made a run for the win on No. 15 where he began a four-hole stretch of birdies through to the end.

Rounding out the top five, Derek Tolan (68-71-67-206) of Highlands Ranch, Colo., finished in third place while Pansing Singhaseni (70-69-70-209) of Beverly Hills, Calif., was fourth. Joseph Kim (74-66-70-210) of Laguna Niguel, Calif., was awarded fifth place.

After her final round, Svicarovich, 17, was elated; the smile on her face couldn't have been any bigger.

"I finally broke through and kept under-par in a major tournament," she said. "I've been finishing close to par for so long that it's nice to finally break it. I now know how to do it again."

Svicarovich kept her final round under-par by draining a 60-yard wedge shot for eagle on No. 5 and carded birdies on Nos. 4 and 11.

"I had a really long putt on No. 4 for birdie, and it really helped me out," Svicarovich said. "It felt like it was 60-feet long."

Keeping Svicarovich on her toes Hong carded six birdies and no bogeys.

"I went with the flow and followed the advice I gave myself yesterday of not getting ahead of myself," Hong, 15, said.

Cindy Shin of Coppell, Texas, shot 1-under-par 215 for the tournament to garner third place.

For more information on the AJGA Marsico Funds Colorado Junior Roundup, contact our headquarters at (877) 373-2542.

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