Golf Club of Avon
Avon, Conn.
August 19-22, 2002


AVON, Conn. - Greg Koch of Orlando, Fla., and Anna Grzebien of Narragansett, R.I., captured the first-round lead Tuesday at the fifth annual AJGA Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior Classic at the Golf Club of Avon.

The 99-player event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 78 boys and 21 girls from 22 states, as well as Canada and Zimbabwe, in a 54-hole stroke play competition.

In the Boys Division, the 17-year-old Koch started slowly, but picked up a head of steam with three straight birdies at Nos. 7, 8 and 9. After playing the first six holes at 2-over-par, the flurry of birdies gave his round a kick start.

"That boosted my momentum," Koch said. "I had a lot of confidence after that and I knew I had a chance to post a good score."

Koch added two birdies and a bogey on the back to finish his round at 2-under-par 69.

"I played pretty solid on the back, but I didn't make a lot of putts," he said. "I made two 25- to 30-footers on 12 and 18 and those were my birdies."

Although a morning rainstorm forced a delay to the start of the round and prevented players from practicing, Koch used his time to prepare for the round.

"I was waiting around the clubhouse for three hours this morning," he said. "It gave me time to think through each hole. I had planned out last night what I was going to do on every hole, so I just needed to execute."

Koch is trailed by another Floridian, Gregory Huxman of Pinecrest, who sits in second place at 1-under-par 70. Six players are tied for third at 1-over-par 72, including: Matt Scytkowski of South Hadley, Mass.; Kyle Bilodeau of Manchester, Conn.; Matt Uretsky of Linwood, N.J.; Stephen Cotter of Trumbull, Conn.; Curtis Centracchio of Westfield, Mass.; and Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass.

In the Girls Division, Grzebien also took a while to catch fire. After a 1-over-par 37 on the front, the 17-year-old carded two birdies and no bogeys to shoot 2-under-par 33 on the back, finishing the day at 1-under-par 70.

Despite the difference in scores from the front to back, Grzebien said there was not much difference in the way she played.

"I hit 16 greens today, but I had a couple of three putts on the front," she said. "I hit wedges for two tap-in birdies on the back. I was just steady all day long."

Whitney Myers of East Berlin, Pa., trails Grzebien by three shots at 2-over-par 73 and is alone in second place. Mallory Code of Tampa, Fla., is in third place at 74.

The AJGA Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior Classic continues through Thursday, with the second-round tee times running between 7:30 a.m. and 12:18 p.m. off the first tee at the Golf Club of Avon.

For more information about the AJGA Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior Classic, please contact the AJGA headquarters at (860) 673-3216, ext. 231.

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