LAS VEGAS FOUNDERS JUNIOR
The Revere at Anthem, Lexington Course
July 15-18, 2002
LEE RUNS AWAY WITH LAS VEGAS TITLE Fernandez closes AJGA career with victory on home turf
HENDERSON, Nev. - James Lee of Fullerton, Calif.,
won the first national title of his career at the AJGA Las
Vegas Founders Junior with rounds of 72-68-75-215. In the
Girls Division, Christine Fernandez of Henderson, Nev., playing
in her final AJGA event, carded rounds of 79-73-71-223 to
take home the title.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 54-hole
event was held on the par-72 Lexington Course at The Revere
at Anthem in Henderson, Nev. The 83-player field featured
players, ages 13-18, from 11 states, including 20 Las Vegas-area
Second-round action was suspended Wednesday afternoon due
to inclement weather. Play resumed Thursday morning at 7:30
with some groups playing as many as nine holes before starting
the final round.
Lee, who had six holes from the second round remaining, fought
exhaustion most of the afternoon and finished the front nine
at 3-over-par. He started the back nine with a bogey on No.
10, but completed his last eight holes with all pars and a
birdie on the 534-yard, par-5 16th hole.
"I really hit my irons well today," Lee said. "I
was sticking it close and I hit 15 greens in regulation. The
only major problem was that I couldn't finish the job. A lot
of my putts came up short and it was a little frustrating."
The 15-year-old Lee becomes the sixth 2005 graduate to claim
an AJGA title this year. Recently Seung Su Han of Chino Hills,
Calif., won the AJGA ClubCorp Junior at Mission Hills, while
Randy Lowry of Spring, Texas, won the AJGA Rolex Tournament
of Champions last week.
"Seung Su Han is one of my good friends and I was jealous
after he won his second event a few weeks ago," Lee said.
"Then when Randy Lowry won the AJGA Rolex Tournament
of Champions last week I knew I could win one. Those two just
proved to me that being young doesn't mean that you can't
win an AJGA event."
C.J. Gatto of Columbus, Ohio, Christopher Heintz of Brea,
Calif., and Denny Bae of Los Angeles finished tied for second
with a three-day total of 220. Soo Kyo Ahn of Tacoma, Wash.,
finished fifth with rounds of 76-74-71-221 to round out the
Boys Division top five.
In the Girls Division, Fernandez finished the front nine at
3-over-par, but a solid back nine allowed her to take home
the Las Vegas trophy. She birdied holes No. 12, 13, 15 and
16 to finish the back nine at 4-under-par and turn in a final
round score of 71.
"I was really making a lot of putts on the back nine,"
Fernandez said. "I think I only had 11 putts on the back
nine so that really pleased me. The first two days I was always
hitting the ball over the hole, but today I was able to relax
and stick my shots."
Fernandez, who has signed to play golf at the University of
Tulsa in the fall, was the local favorite heading into the
week. She placed sixth in the event last year and third at
this year's AJGA Arizona Junior Classic over in April.
"It's really nice to win at home," Fernandez said.
"The best part about it is getting to sleep in your own
bed and be comfortable; I've never had that before. I'm glad
that my family could be here to watch me play in my last AJGA
event, and it's great that I could win one for them."
Jane Lee of Rancho Palos Verde, Calif., finished one stroke
behind Fernandez with rounds of 81-69-73-224. Lauren Todd
of Phoenix placed third at 75-78-73-226.
For more information about the AJGA Las Vegas Founders Junior,
please call AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.
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