AJGA NEEDHAM SAN JOSE JUNIOR CLASSIC
Almaden Country Club
San Jose, Calif.
Aug. 12-15, 2002
CHOE BUILDS TWO STROKE LEAD AS FINAL ROUND
Park and Liao lead Girls Division by two with one round
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Jay Choe of Yorba Linda, Calif.,
carded his second-consecutive round of 4-under-par 68 to grab
a two-stroke lead at the AJGA Needham San Jose Junior Classic.
In the Girls Division, Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., and
Ki-Shui Liao of Alameda, Calif., both recorded rounds of 1-under-par
71 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.
The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf
Association, features 84 players representing 10 states and
includes 72 California natives. The inaugural event is being
held at the par-72 Almaden Country Club.
Choe, who started his round on No. 10, hit 16 greens in regulation
as he parred the first five holes. He then birdied six of
his next 11 holes but it was on the 185-yard, par-3 15th where
Choe got everything going his way. He rolled in a 13-foot
birdie putt and then turned his attention to the par 5s.
"I was trying to birdie all of the par 5s," said
Choe, who birdied three of the four. "I had two eagle
putts from about 20 feet lip out, but I was still able to
Choe (68-68-136), who has three AJGA top 10s this year, said
he has his complete game working and is not even thinking
about golf when he is on the course.
"I love this course," Choe said. "I wasn't
even really trying to go after the flagsticks. When you are
playing well you are not really thinking about how you should
play or what you should go after. You just play."
The 18-year-old said he does not feel any added pressure from
playing in the final group on the final day. He is relaxed
and ready to go after the title.
"I am going to play my own game like always," Choe
said. "I am going to take it shot-by-shot and not even
worry about my score."
Anthony Kim of La Quinta, Calif., stands alone in second place
with a two-day total of 138. Zack Miller of San Rafael, Calif.,
and Jonathan Taruc of Las Vegas are two strokes back at 139
and Daniel Im of La Mirada, Calif., and Tim Cha of Chino Hills,
Calif., are tied for fifth place with 140s.
In the Girls Division, first-round leaders Park and Liao each
shot 1-under par 71 after opening rounds of 69 to remain in
a tie for the lead.
Park said she is going to switch up her daily tournament routine
to prepare for the final round. After a day on the course
she usually spends an ample amount of time working on her
game trying to tweak her mechanics and perfect some part of
her game, but she said she was not going to do that after
the second round.
"I am going to try and rest tonight and not practice
as much," the 13-year-old said. "Hopefully I can
play well tomorrow."
Park finds herself in a familiar place as she won the Callaway
Junior All-Star Classic at Midland earlier this summer. She
does not expect many nerves on the first tee tomorrow.
"I don't think I am going to be too nervous," Park
said. "I will turn my nerves into motivation."
Liao started the round on No. 10 and played her front nine
at even par. She played the back side at 1-under and is anxious
to get the final round started.
"I have never been in this position in an AJGA tournament
before," Liao said.
Liao, 14, playing in her second career AJGA event, bogeyed
two of her first three holes before turning things around.
She played the par 5s at 2-under-par during the round and
said she can play better in the final round.
"I had something like 12 birdie putts today, but it seemed
like I only made one of them," Park said.
Final-round action begins at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow off No. 1
and 10. Tee times will run until 9:27 a.m.
For more information regarding the Needham San Jose Junior
Classic please contact AJGA headquarters at (408) 268-4653,