MeadowWood Golf Course
Liberty Lake, Washington
August 12-15, 2002

Lee, Oliver shoot under par to earn medalist honors

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - Thirty-three boys and seven girls faced off in the AJGA Spokane Junior Classic Qualifier, vying for 20 berths into the championship. Lucas Lee of Torrance, Calif., shot a blazing 5-under-par 67 to place first of the 17 Boys Division qualifiers. Jamie Oliver of Los Alamitos, Calif., earned medalist honors in the Girls Division at 1-under-par 71.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Spokane Junior Classic Qualifier was held on the par-72 MeadowWood Golf Course in Liberty Lake, Wash.

Lee, playing in his second career AJGA event, attributed his performance to solid approach shots and putting. The 15-year-old said though his game recently has been on a decline, it came together today for a below-par performance.

"My goal was to shoot even par on the back nine and under par on the front," he said. "I've been struggling for a while, but today everything went straight."

Lee nailed birdies on holes No. 1, 3, 4, 8, 11, 12 and 16, and carded only two bogeys during the round to go 5-under-par and earn medalist honors in the Boys Division.

Brian Fairbank of McLean, Va., and Nick Geyer of Agoura Hills, Calif., tied for second at 2-under-par 70, and Tyler Hairston of Las Vegas, Nev., placed fourth at 1-under-par 71.

Andrew Gihm of Edmonds, Wash., Kevin Chen of Alamo, Calif., Josh Vornsand of Henderson, Nev., Michael Thorsen of Winnetka, Ill., Dane Bagnell of Edgewood, Wash., Kwang Rho of Vancouver, Canada, Jake Deskins of University Place, Wash., and Ryan Dahl of Richland, Wash., tied for fifth at even-par 72.

Ryan Barton of Las Vegas, Nev., Andrew Nakamura of Whittier, Calif., Chris Barley of Springfield, Ore., and John Skelton of Laverne, Calif., tied for 13th at 73.

Brett Bocci of Hillsborough, Calif., claimed the final Boys Division spot on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.

In the Girls Division, Oliver stormed through her round, carding four birdies and three bogeys to go 1-under-par 71 and take first place. Though Oliver had back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8, the 17-year-old drained a 20-foot putt for birdie on the par-5, 469-yard 12th hole to clinch a spot in the tournament.

"This week I want to shoot under par and I think I can do it," Oliver said. "I just need to work on my putting."

Chris Yun of University Place, Wash., finished second at 74, and Alix Plaster of Liberty Lake, Wash., grabbed the last Girls Division spot at 76.

The first round of the AJGA Spokane Junior Classic begins Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee of MeadowWood Golf Course. The 54-hole event features 99 players from 13 states and Canada, including 39 Washington natives.

For more information about the AJGA Spokane Junior Classic, call AJGA tournament headquarters at (509) 255-5044.

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