Boyne Highlands Resort, Heather Course
Harbor Springs, Michigan
July 8-11, 2002

Creamer primed to defend her title with a round of 3-under-par 68

HARBOR SPRINGS, Mich. - In near perfect conditions Pat Patterson of Sea Island, Ga., and Bronson Burgoon of The Woodlands, Texas, shot identical rounds for the second consecutive day (72-71-143) to share the lead at the AJGA Buick Junior Open Wednesday. Defending tournament champion Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, Calif., continued her mastery of the course as she carded a 3-under-par 68 (72-68-140) to lead the Girls Division by three strokes.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Buick Junior Open features 99 players, both boys and girls, representing 17 states and Canada with 27 participants hailing from Michigan.

Each seeking their first AJGA title, Patterson and Burgoon remain convincingly consistent through two rounds. Patterson was on the verge of withdrawing prior to tournament play due to an inner ear infection, but has rebounded to improve with each round.

"I wasn't going to play because of the pain," Patterson said. "But I decided I had nothing to lose. Right now I'm just glad to be feeling better."

Despite numerous approaches within 10 feet of the flagstick on the front nine, Patterson struggled with his putter as he carded eight pars and one bogey.

"This course is a lot of fun to play," Patterson said. "Robert Trent Jones is a great designer, and he has made a course that's really challenging. Tomorrow I just want to outsmart the designer."

The 15-year-old Burgoon is the medalist from the tournament qualifier, and is determined to take the title.

"I said before this tournament that I wanted to win the whole thing," Burgoon said. "I'm here to win, and that's my only goal."

In what should make for an exciting final round, seven players are within three shots of the lead. Ricky Romano of Murrieta, Calif., and Jeffrey Blank of Sylvania, Ohio, are tied for third at 144. Tyler Dunn of Godfrey, Ill., Patrick Wilkes-Krier of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Jon Boguth of Sterling Heights, Mich., round out the top five with scores of 146, respectively.

In the Girls Division, the 15-year-old Creamer acknowledged her iron game and putting carried her throughout the day as she carded four birdies and only one bogey.

"The conditions on the course couldn't have been any better today," Creamer said. "I hit my irons a lot better today, which gave me a lot more looks at birdies."

Creamer has two AJGA titles this year and she will be seeking her third victory Thursday.

"I played pretty aggressively today, but I think I can lower my score for tomorrow," Creamer said. "All in all it was a pretty good day, but I left a lot of shots out there."

Dayna Burleigh of Horsham, Pa., stands in second at 143, while Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana of Long Beach, Calif., rounds out the top three with a score of 144.

Tangtiphaiboontana set the women's competitive course record on the Heather Course Wednesday by carding a 4-under-par 67.

Final round action will run from 7:30 a.m. - 12:09 p.m. Thursday off the No. 1 tee at Boyne Highlands Resort, Heather Course.

For more information on the Buick Junior Open, contact tournament headquarters at (231) 526-3189.


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