Magnolia Grove Golf Club, Falls and Crossings Courses
Mobile, Alabama
August 29-September 2, 2002

Thomas snags lead in Boys Division

MOBILE, Ala. - Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, Calif., maintained her first-round Girls Division lead at the AJGA Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior Classic by shooting a 2-under-par 70 during Sunday's round at Magnolia Grove Golf Club on the Crossings Course. Warren Thomas III of Columbia, S.C., carded a 3-under-par 69 on the Falls Course to capture control in the Boys Division.

The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 165 players representing 24 states, Singapore and Mexico. Fifteen participants call Alabama home. Past champions include PGA TOUR players Ty Tryon (2000) and David Gossett (1994) and LPGA tour player Beth Bauer (1995 and 1996).

In the Girls Division, Creamer, who fired a 1-over-par 73 in the opening round, controls her respective lead after carding birdies on Nos. 2, 6, 8, 18, which tallied her an impressive second-round total of 34-36-70.

The soon-to-be high school sophomore did not change anything in her game to record a 2-day total of 73-70-143, but the difference maker between the first and second round was her birdie on the par-3, 163-yard, 8 th hole where she stuck her tee shot within seven inches of the hole.

"I really like this course because it's definitely challenging and suits my type of game," Creamer said. "This course allows me to use all kinds of shots and lets me be creative."

Creamer, who finished tied for second at the event last year after losing in a one-hole, sudden-death playoff with Nicole Hage of Coral Springs, Fla., and eventual champion Jackie Beers of Midlothian, Va., hopes to redeem herself by bringing home the trophy.

"It would be nice to win because I was so close last year," the 16-year-old said. "I really like the pressure of being in the lead because it motivates me."

Bringing home the tournament honors would not only add another line to the first-team Polo Golf All-American's already lengthy resume, but would deliver extra satisfaction due to the caliber of the field.

"This would be a big AJGA win to earn and I hope I can pull it off," she said.

Chasing Creamer will be fellow California native Jane Park of Beaumont at 146, while Florida natives Brittany Lincicome of Seminole and Jennifer Pandolfi of Navarre both trail at 148.

Warren Thomas III of Columbia, S.C., got off to a solid start on his way to taking over sole possession of the leaderboard in the Boys Division after the second round. Warren carded his first birdie on the par-5, 531-yard 5 th hole, which carried him to garner three more on Nos. 7, 9, and 13.

The South Carolina native had two secret weapons that contributed to his two-day total of 73-69-142; his three wood and his 'new' swing.

"Last night before going to bed I thought about what needed to be adjusted in my swing," he said. "When I was hitting balls at the range this morning, I just worked on the feeling of my swing."

Whatever the feeling was, it definitely worked. He ended his near flawless round with a remarkable par on the final hole, the 546-yard par-5 No. 18, by striking his third shot out of the rough 230 yards with a 4-iron to place him on the green.

"I had a lot of good shots today and I only had to pull out my driver three times," the 16-year-old said. "I was very pleased with how well I played and plan to stay focused heading into tomorrow's round."

Thomas's 2-under-par tournament total of 142, gives him a two-shot advantage over Garrett Runion of Windermere, Fla., and first-round leader Christopher Anderson of Lake Mary, Fla. Rounding out the top five only three shots behind Thomas is Robert Gates Jr. of Gainesville, Fla., and Tyler Leon of Dallas sits at 146.

Final-round action will take place Monday, September 2 with the Boys Division shotgun beginning at 8 a.m. on the Falls Course while play in the Girls Division runs from 7-8:27 a.m. off the No. 1 and 10 tees on the Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove Golf Club.

For more information on the AJGA Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior Classic please contact our tournament headquarters at (251) 645-9565.


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