AJGA FIRST STATE BANK SOUTHWESTERN JUNIOR CLASSIC
Isleta Eagle Golf Course
Albuquerque, New Mexico
May 28-31, 2002

FIRST-TIME CHAMPIONS WIN SOUTHWESTERN JUNIOR CLASSIC
Tolan, Rollins maintain focus through final round

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Two juniors claimed their first AJGA titles at the First State Bank Southwestern Junior Classic after a heated final round of competition. Derek Tolan of Highlands Ranch, Colo., carded a 4-under-par 68 for a tournament total of 208. Ashley Rollins of Austin, Texas, scored a final round 72, setting the tournament's three-day tournament total record at 210 and earning the tournament title.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, this 54-hole, three-day event was held at the par-72 Isleta Eagle Golf Course. The 99-player field featured players from 15 states, including four Polo Golf Junior All-Americans. Twenty-one New Mexico natives represented their home state.

Tolan entered the final round three strokes behind Polo Golf Junior All-American Randy Lowry of Spring, Texas. He used a new perspective about the final round and dropped four critical birdies on the back nine to grab his first national title.

"I've started not thinking about what other people are doing in the final round," Tolan said. "I pick a number that I think can win and shoot for it. This way I set a goal for myself and keep striving."

Tolan set the magic number at 66, but a final round 68 was good enough to win.

"This feels so good to play well and win a tournament that has such an impressive field," Tolan said. "I had a lot of fun this week because it was a great tournament and the course was in excellent shape."

Lowry finished behind Tolan's 71-69-68-208 with a three-day total of 69-68-73-210. Jeremy Alcorn of Brownwood, Texas, finished third at 211. Michael Thompson of Tucson, Ariz., finished fourth at 213 and Blake Parks of Odessa, Texas, rounded out the Boys Division top five at 214.

Rollins picked up her first AJGA victory by firing rounds of 71-67-72-210. After finishing the front nine 2-under-par, she played even on the back nine until a bad lie on No. 17 cost her two strokes.

"The front nine went really well for me today," Rollins said. "I was getting the ball a lot closer to the flag and making my birdie putts."

Rollins credited the victory to consistent play and staying focused.

"I'm really pleased with the way I played this week," Rollins said. "It feels good to win this tournament. This has been a great week."

Kelly Husted of Sarasota, Fla., who started the day six shots back, gave Rollins a scare as she turned in a final round score of 67. She finished second at 70-74-67-211 while Phoenix native Lauren Todd placed third with a three-day total of 69-74-72-215.

For more information about the AJGA First State Bank Southwestern Junior Classic, or any other AJGA events, please call AJGA national headquarters at 770-868-4200.

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