AJGA THUNDERBIRD INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR
Grayhawk Golf Club, Raptor Course
May 24-27, 2002
CHOI AND WITTENBERG
SCORCH RAPTOR TO TIE COURSE RECORD AT 7-UNDER
Pressel leads Girls Division with 2-under-par 70
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Jay Choi
and Casey Wittenberg scorched the Raptor Course Saturday at
the third annual Thunderbird International Junior for 7-under-par
65s to tie the competitive course record. Morgan Pressel has
a one-shot lead in the Girls Division after firing a 2-under-par
The 54-hole event, conducted by the
American Junior Golf Association, is being held on the Raptor
Course at Grayhawk Golf Club and features 90 players representing
24 states and six foreign countries. Seventy Polo Golf Junior
All-Americans, including the 2001 Polo Golf Junior Players
of the Year, are competing this weekend.
Choi, of Cerritos, Calif., and Wittenberg,
of Memphis, Tenn., are three strokes ahead of the field heading
into the second round after tying Tom Lehman's competitive
course record of 65.
After starting on No. 10, Choi carded
five straight birdies on holes 3-7 for a 6-under-par 30 on
the front nine. He finished with seven birdies after firing
nines of 30-35.
"I could not make a putt on the
back nine, but I had an awesome front nine," Choi said.
"My putting struggled in the beginning, but on the sixth
hole my stroke clicked and I had confidence.
An honorable mention Polo Golf Junior
All-American, Choi is looking for his first AJGA victory.
"I've never won an AJGA event
and I feel lucky to be here," Choi, 17, said. "I
don't want to lose this chance and I hope to make the most
Wittenberg, the 2001 Polo Golf Boys
Junior Player of the Year, got off to a good start with birdies
on his first two holes. He finished with seven birdies on
the day after firing 33-32-65.
"Today everything was going well,"
Wittenberg said. "I hit it well and I made some good
putts. I had a good day and I hope to carry this momentum
into the next two rounds."
Three shots off the pace is Miami's
James Vargas at 4-under-par 68, while Randy Lowry of Spring,
Texas, carded a 3-under-par 69. Five are tied for fifth at
2-under-par 70: Matthew Rosenfeld of Plano, Texas; Joseph
Sykora of Daphne, Ala.; Niklas Lemke of Linkoping, Sweden;
Lenny Park of Rowland Heights, Calif.; and Kevin Larsen of
Santa Barbara, Calif.
In the Girls Division, the 14-year-old
Pressel, who became the youngest-ever qualifier for the U.S.
Women's Open a year ago, carries a one-shot lead into day
two after carding three birdies.
"I had a solid round," the
honorable mention Polo Golf Junior All-American from Boca
Raton, Fla., said. "The key to my round was my consistent
wedge play. I hit my wedges to within three feet for all of
my birdies. I also did not make any careless mistakes today."
On Pressel's heels at 1-under-par 71
are Nicole Hage of Coral Springs, Fla., Therese Nilsson of
Vellinge, Sweden, and In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla.