English Turn Golf and Country Club
New Orleans, La.
July 22-26, 2002

Jones opens tournament with two-stroke lead in Girls Division

NEW ORLEANS - Joseph Morton of Waycross, Ga., carded a 2-under-par 70 in the opening round of the AJGA hp Junior Classic at English Turn to lead by one stroke. In the Girls Division, Katherine Jones of Jackson, Miss., recorded a 3-over-par 75 to lead the field by two strokes.

The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 84 players representing 16 states and includes 10 Louisiana natives. It is being held at the par-72 English Turn Golf and Country Club. Past champions of the event include PGA TOUR players Scott Verplank, Bryce Molder and Brian Watts and LPGA TOUR players Grace Park and Michelle McGann.

Morton (34-36--70), who has signed a letter of intent to the College of Charleston, entered the tournament with the mindset of hitting greens and fairways in the first round, so he could put himself in position to go out aggressive in the second round.

"I wanted to shoot between 70 and 73," Morton said. "I hit it pretty solid and was in the middle of the greens for most of the day. I was trying to make pars and the birdies just kept coming."

He chipped in for one of his four birdies on the 345-yard, par-4 fourth, but said it was his up-and-down on No. 18 that helped land him at the top of the leaderboard.

"The wind was at my back and I hit my 7-iron 190 yards and ended up flying the green," the 18-year-old said. "It landed in the back bunker and I hit it 10 feet past the hole."

He made the putt to save par and preserved his one-stroke lead over Ryan Henry of Broken Arrow, Okla., and Thomas Allen of Houston.

Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division with 72s are Jared Mayfield of Shreveport, La. and Pete Pennington of Granbury, Texas.

Jones (38-37--75) opened up a two-stroke lead in the Girls Division with the help of consistent iron play, but said she was a little disappointed with her score.

"I've been in kind of a slump the past few tournaments, but today I began to hit my irons really well," Jones said. "I am excited about that because good iron play gives you the opportunity to score. Irons set up your birdies."

On the par-4 ninth from 110 yards out, Jones stuck her wedge to six inches for a tap in birdie. Her other birdie was a six-foot putt on the 343-yard, par-4 thirteenth.

The 16-year-old, who has a pair of top-10 finishes to her credit this year, said she needs to stay tuned into her game more during the second round.

"I have a lot of room to improve," Jones said. "My score should have been lower, but sometimes my mind was somewhere else. I need to stay in my zone tomorrow."

Logjammed in a tie for second at 77 is Meredith McMahan of San Antonio, Camille Blackerby of Breckenridge, Texas and Amy Middleton of Citronelle, Ala.

Second-round action begins at 7 a.m. tomorrow off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees and runs until 8:57 a.m.

For more information regarding the hp Junior Classic at English Turn, please contact our headquarters at (504) 391-8182.

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