AJGA PRESEASON JUNIOR AT LAS CRUCES

Picacho Hills Country Club
Las Cruces, N.M.
April 13-14, 2002


BOONE SITS ATOP LEADERBOARD AFTER FIRST ROUND AT PICACHO HILLS
El Paso native takes two-shot lead into final round after first-round 72

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Kevan Boone of El Paso, Texas, fired an even-par 72 Saturday to take the first-round lead at the inaugural AJGA Preseason Junior at Las Cruces. Moises Cobo of Seville, Spain, sits in second place after a 2-over-par 74.

The 36-hole event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at par-72 Picacho Hills Country Club, features 84 boys (ages 13-18) from 21 states and Spain. Six New Mexico natives are entered in the field, including three players from Las Cruces.

The AJGA's Preseason Junior Series was created three years ago to give more juniors a chance to gain national exposure. The Las Cruces event is the second of four preseason events the AJGA will conduct in 2002, and the top-15 finishers will each walk away with at least one automatic entry into an AJGA event this summer.

One of those players in great position to earn an automatic entry is Boone. The 17-year-old's steady play (14 fairways and 14 greens) led to five birdies and a spot atop the day one leaderboard.

"I had some trouble at first and was lipping out a lot of putts," said Boone, a Coronado High School junior. "I probably should have made some more birdies because I was hitting it so close to the hole. My irons were real solid."

Boone came into Saturday's round with a target score of 73 in his head - and nearly posted a score much lower. He was 2-under after 16 holes before bogeying his final two holes. Despite his success in the first round, he's not changing his expectations on day two.

"I planning on shooting for the same score," Boone said. "Hopefully I'll make a few more putts if my irons are as good."

Cobo (37-37-74) tallied three birdies in the first round to snag sole possession of second. Jared Hoffman (37-38-75) of Phoenix is alone in third, while Texans Kyle Maze (38-38-76) of Round Rock and Brian Noonan (38-38-76) of Austin round out the top five in a tie for fourth.

Final-round action gets underway Sunday at 7:30 a.m. off the first and 10th tees at Picacho Hills Country Club. For more information on the Preseason Junior at Las Cruces, contact tournament headquarters at (505) 523-5310, extension 222.

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