University of Florida Golf Course
Gainesville, Florida
May 10-12, 2002

Giammaresi shoots a 5-under-par 65 for the first round lead

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Obviously immune to warm temperatures and breezy conditions, Tampa native Mike Giammaresi fired an impressive low round of 5-under-par 65 to garner the first-round lead at the AJGA Preseason Junior at Gainesville Saturday.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Gainesville held at the University of Florida Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla., consists of a 84 player boys-only field (ages 13-18) representing 14 states and Canada. Eighteen juniors from Florida are competing in the 36-hole stroke-play event.

Right out of the gate, Giammaresi, a high school junior, began his impeccable performance with a birdie on the par-4, which set the tone for the day.

"I knew I was going to have a solid round when I started with a birdie," Giammaresi said. "I felt awesome during my entire round."

The 16-year-old credits his stellar performance to both the solid conditions of the course and to the Northern Florida climate. About six months ago, the University of Florida Golf Course reopened its doors after major renovations.

"I really like the changes made to the course. They have made the greens smaller and I was able to hit most of them which definitely helped my game," Giammaresi said.

Being a frequent player to the course and a Florida resident are two of Giammaresi's secret weapons that he has definitely used to his advantage.

"Some players who are not from this area probably considered it incredibly hot today, but I actually thought it was rather cool with the breeze," he said.

Despite finishing with a bogey on the par-4 18th, Giammaresi's scorecard includes six birdies and 11 pars.

Chasing Giammaresi in second place is Georgia native Benjamin Kishigian of Warner Robins. Kishigian finished the day four shots back after carding a 32-37-69, while Noah Goldman of Longwood, Fla., sits five shots off the pace. Warren Thomas of Columbia, S.C, Alex Debardeleben of Memphis, Tenn., and Chad Grimes of The Woodlands, Texas, are all tied for fourth at 3-over par 73.

The AJGA Preseason/Postseason Junior Series, a boys-only series, is expanding to eight tournaments in 2002 from the six featured last year. The series is designed to provide playing opportunities to juniors who have not yet played in an AJGA tournament. Players who finish in the top 15, including ties, receive one, two or three automatic entries into future AJGA tournaments, depending on their finish.

The final round of the AJGA Preseason Junior at Gainesville begins Sunday, with the first tee times set for 7:30 a.m. at the University of Florida Golf Course off the No. 1 and 10 tees.

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