AJGA NEEDHAM SAN JOSE JUNIOR CLASSIC
Almaden Country Club
San Jose, Calif.
Aug. 12-15, 2002
IM COMES FROM FOUR BACK TO WIN INAGURAL
SAN JOSE TITLE
Liao holds on to win Girls Division by one
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Daniel Im of La Mirada, Calif.,
erased a four-stroke, final-round deficit as he shot 7-under-65
to win the AJGA Needham San Jose Junior Classic. In the Girls
Division, Ki-Shui Liao of Alameda, Calif., led wire-to-wire
as she too claimed her first AJGA title.
The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf
Association, featured 84 players representing 10 states and
included 72 California natives. The inaugural event was held
at the par-72 Almaden Country Club.
Im entered the final round without any aspirations of winning.
He was hoping to capture a top five finish and add some polish
to his game before he plays in some season-ending tournaments.
All of that thinking changed after Im got through his first
five holes. The 17-year-old eagled his first hole and then
birdied his third as he decided to make a run for the title.
"After that eagle on No. 1 I realized I was only two-strokes
back," Im said. "I decided to play as hard as I
could from there on out."
Im, who has four top five finished this year and recently
helped the West team secure the coveted Canon Cup, said his
ability to hit greens in regulation was the difference today.
"The first day I hit 10 greens and the second I hit 11,"
Im said. "I was kind of mad after that but today I was
flagging my shots."
Anthony Kim of La Quinta, Calif., and Jay Choe of Yorba Linda,
Calif., had the opportunity to force a playoff with Im, but
it was not meant to be. Kim missed his 20-foot eagle putt
to the right and Choe left his chip for eagle short securing
the title for Im.
"I was so nervous watching Anthony putt," Im said.
"I still can't believe it. It is slowly sinking in."
Kim finished in second at 206 and Choe ended up in third with
a 207. David Yoon of Irvine, Calif., placed third with a 209
and Josh Esler of Wauconda, Ill., rounded out the top five
with a three-day total of 210.
In the Girls Division, Liao notched her third-consecutive
round under par as she won her first AJGA title in only her
The 14-year-old entered No. 18 tied with Jennie Lee of Huntington
Beach, Calif., at 5-under-par. Lee parred the hole and Liao
drained a 13-foot birdie putt to grab her first title. Liao
did not even know she had to make the putt to win.
"I thought I was two strokes ahead," Liao said.
"I didn't even know how important her putt turned out
Liao (69-71-70-210) said it was probably a good thing she
did not know her and Lee were tied.
"I was not even nervous," Liao said. "If I
had known I had to make the putt to win then I probably would
have missed it."
Liao said she was still in disbelief that she won.
"It might sink in once I get home," Liao said. "I
might not sleep tonight. When I came here I didn't even think
about going under par. I have never played that well before
and then suddenly I win."
Lee finished in second at 211 and Hannah Jun of San Diego,
Calif., placed third with a total of 213.
For more information regarding the Needham San Jose Junior
Classic please contact our national headquarters at (877)