KAAHANUI SETS SCORING RECORD, LEADS REBATH HEATHER FARR CLASSIC BY EIGHT
Frasier maintains one-stroke lead in the Girls Division
MESA, Ariz. -- Trey Kaahanui, 14, of Tempe, Ariz., set the 36-hole tournament scoring record at the 10th annual ReBath Heather Farr Classic Saturday after shooting his second consecutive 6-under-par 65 at Longbow Golf Club. He now stands at 12-under-par 130 heading into the final round and will be protecting an eight-shot lead Sunday. In the Girls Division, first-round leader Danielle Frasier, 15, of Encinitas, Calif., maintained her one-stroke lead by carding a 3-under-par 68, bringing her tournament total to 5-under-par 137.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ReBath Heather Farr Classic features 138 players from 20 states and Canada, the Cayman Islands and Scotland. The field consists of 90 boys and 48 girls, ages 12-18, and includes 15 Rolex Junior All-Americans. Played at Longbow Golf Club, the par-71 course measures 7,001 yards for the boys and 6,150 yards for the girls.
The 54-hole stroke play event's past champions list includes Hunter Mahan (1999), Philip Francis (2006), Amanda Blumenherst (2002) and Paula Creamer (2003, 2004).
After starting his second round on No. 10, Kaahanui recorded seven consecutive pars before making birdie on Nos. 17 and 18. He then made his third consecutive birdie on the 451-yard, par-4 first hole when he tapped in after nearly holing his approach. He would go on to birdie Nos. 5, 8 and 9 to finish his second nine at 4-under-par 32. His 36-hole 12-under-par tournament total now includes 24 pars, 12 birdies and no bogeys.
"Right now, every hole feels like a birdie hole," the surprisingly calm eighth grader said. "I'm just focusing on hitting every shot perfect."
Kaahanui is in this position only after playing his way into the event by qualifying Wednesday -- where he went extra holes in a playoff to earn the last spot in the tournament field. He now leads by eight strokes in what he considers the biggest tournament of his young national junior golf career. In 2007, Kaahanui competed in three AJGA events, never finishing better than 26th with a 76.9 stroke average.
"I've amazed myself so far this week," he continued. "As long as I go out and try my hardest, I'll be happy with whatever happens tomorrow."
Chasing Kaahanui is Jeffrey Kang of Fullerton, Calif., at 138 and six more tied at 139: Robbie Ziegler of Canby, Ore., James Erkenbeck of San Siego, Chan Kim of Chandler, Ariz., James Back of Cerritos, Calif., Alex Kang of Oak Park, Calif., and Nicholas Losole III of Scottsdale, Ariz.
In the Girls Division, Frasier's front nine included three birdies (Nos. 5, 6, 9), four pars (Nos. 2, 3, 4, 8) and two bogeys (Nos. 1, 7) en route to a 1-under-par 35. Her back nine was less sporadic with birdies on Nos. 10 and 18 to bookend pars on Nos. 11-17. But her final nine holes didn't come without some frustrations.
"I hit every green in regulation and I felt like I had less than 10 feet on every hole for birdie," the two-time Rolex Junior All-American said about her back-nine 33.
Frasier, who ranks No. 15 in the most recent Polo Golf Rankings, will now be competing Sunday to claim her second AJGA title of her career.
"I do have some experience playing with the lead, so I'll be using that to help me tomorrow," she said. "My goal was to shoot three rounds in the 60s, and now that this in my grasp, I'm really going to go for it."
Frasier's 68 held off a surging Kyung Kim of Chandler, Ariz., whose matching 68 kept her within a stroke of the lead heading into the final round at 70-68--138. Joining Frasier and Kim in the leader group will be Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., who stands at 70-71--141 for the tournament.
Final-round tee times will begin off Longbow Golf Club's first and 10th tees from 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.-12:54 p.m. The leader group in the Girls Division will be teeing off of No. 1 at 8:30 a.m. and the Boys Division leaders will start at 12:54 p.m., also off the first tee.
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.
The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information about the ReBath Heather Farr Classic, please contact Steve Ethun in the AJGA Communications Department at (678) 571-7994.