AJGA THUNDERBIRD INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR
Grayhawk Golf Club, Raptor Course
Scottsdale, Arizona
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 70.

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 of it."

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.

 

 

 
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1
Donnie Trosper
67
2
Charlie Watson
68
T
3
Beau Breault
69
T
3
Winston Margaritis
69
T
3
Matthew Cholod
69
T
3
Nicholas Bonema
69
T
3
Tyler Pearson
69
T
3
Travis Ola
69
T
3
Sean Wilcox
69
T
3
Bryce Messner
69
Girls
Total
1
Morgan Gonzales
71
T
2
Kaitleen Shee
73
T
2
Megan Furtney
73
T
2
Aiko Leong
73
AJGA Junior at Bethesda
Boys
Total
1
Luke Schaap
67
T
2
Graham Hutchinson
68
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2
John Pak
68
Girls
Total
1
Shannon Brooks
68
2
Julie Luo
71
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3
Ami Gianchandani
73
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3
Krystal Sung
73
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Boys
Total
T
1
Tianlin Zhang
73
T
1
Charles Sun
73
3
Nelson Pang
74
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1
Madeleine Garay
78
2
Belinda Hu
79
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3
Brooke McDougald
80
T
3
Jiayu Kong
80
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3
Veronica Joels
80
Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau Junior All-Star
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Total
1
Ricky Castillo
65
T
2
Clay Seeber
69
T
2
Gabe Spach
69
T
2
Joseph Chun
69
T
2
Eddy Lai
69
Girls
Total
1
Carolyn Zhao
70
2
Brittany Park
72
3
Yealimi Noh
73
Coca-Cola Junior All-Star at Sugarloaf
Boys
Total
1
Charlie Dubiel
72
2
Won Jun Lee
73
T
3
Andrew O'Leary
75
T
3
Scott Roden
75
Girls
Total
1
Christine Shao
74
2
Lindsay May
78
3
Lauren Peter
79
PBE Qualifier - California
Boys
Total
T
1
Kevin An
71
T
1
Yash Majmudar
71
T
3
Lucas Carper
72
T
3
Joseph Burlison
72
T
3
Yu-Jen Cheng
72
T
3
Alex Chin
72
T
3
William Draper
72
Girls
Total
1
Courtney Vogel
70
T
2
Sophia Hui
74
T
2
Ty Akabane
74
T
2
Waverly Whiston
74
T
2
Samantha Gong
74
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The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and
development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.