Oakwood Country Club
Kansas City, Missouri
August 7, 2002

Prange, Hong face off for Girls Division title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - David Merkow of Hartland, Wis., and Cameron Bishop of Tulsa, Okla., jumped into the Boys Division lead after the second round of the AJGA Marsh Kansas City Junior. The duo carded the day's lowest score to tie for first place. In the Girls Division, Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., and Amber Prange of Noblesville, Ind., are tied for the top spot.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 54-hole event is being held at the par-72 Oakwood Country Club in Kansas City, Mo. The 99-player field features players from 19 states and Japan, including 16 Missouri natives.

Merkow stepped up his performance from the start, making birdie on the par-4, 344-yard first hole. He also chipped in from 30 yards for birdie on No. 5, and later went on to make birdies on Nos. 9, 10, 15 and 16 to finish at 72-70-142.

"It was a good short game that did it for me," he said. "On No. 9 I hit an iron to within two feet of the hole for birdie. I also had some good putts today; I only had 10 putts on the front nine."

Bishop plowed through the front nine at 2-under-par 34, nailing birdies on holes No. 2, 4 and 6. Though Bishop birdied Nos. 10, 16 and 17, a double-bogey on the 18th hole placed him in a first-place tie at 72-70-142. The 18-year-old attributed his performance to solid rebounds from poor shots, including two up-and-downs from fairway bunkers and recovering on No. 17 to make birdie.

"I hit a bad drive on No. 17," he said. "Then I hit a 3-wood to about 15 feet from the hole. It was the best shot of the day."

Tyler Peglow of Marshalltown, Iowa, moved into third place, scoring an even-par 72 for a two-day total of 145.

Mike Steele of Merritt Island, Fla., and Jordan Payne of West Memphis, Ark., are tied for fourth at 147.

In the Girls Division, Hong powered her way into a tie for the lead with a 2-over-par 74. Though she said she had trouble with putting during the round, Hong nailed three birdies to finish with a two-day total of 75-74--149.

"It was just a good solid round," she said. "I had a few mishaps with three-putts on the back nine, but I managed a lot of pars and some bogeys."

Despite getting off to a solid start with a birdie on the first hole, Prange stumbled through the back nine but held her game together to finish tied for first at 71-78-149.

"Instead of making easy pars, I was struggling to save par on some holes," she said. "Tomorrow I want to go out, be patient and set myself up for pars and birdies."

Courtney Jones of Lake Quivira, Kan., is in third place with a two-day total of 73-78-151.

Final round action begins Thursday at 7:30 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at Oakwood Country Club.

For more information about the AJGA Marsh Kansas City Junior, please call tournament headquarters at (816) 761-3670.


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