KIM SHOOTS FIVE-UNDER, TAKES FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT
HANMI BANK JUNIOR OPEN
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — John Young Kim of Los Alamitos, Calif., hit all 18 greens of the Valley Course at Robinson Ranch Golf Club to post a 5-under-par 67. He has the lead in the Boys Division going into the second round of the Hanmi Bank Junior Open while Kristina Nhim of Buena Park, Calif., is atop the Girls Division leaderboard, leading by one stroke.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Hanmi Bank Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke-play event being held at Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley Course. The tournament field consists of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from seven states and New Zealand. Eighty-one hailed from the home state of California. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 layout at 6,831 yards, while the Girls Division is playing it at 6,040 yards.
Kim scattered five birdies on the day, successfully hitting 11 fairways and the greens on all 18 holes.
“My confidence in ball striking really increased,” Kim said. “After the turn, I was really focused on staying up and finishing with a good score.”
As for tournament strategy, Kim wants to focus again on keeping the ball in play and staying concentrated on his own game.
After carding a 4-under-par 68, Matthew Siporin of Tarzana, Calif., finds himself close behind Kim in second. Jordan Lee, also of Tarzana, sits in third with a 3-under-par 69. Currently tied for fourth are Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos, and Todd Baek of Auckland, New Zealand, who both shot 2-under-par 70s.
For the girls, Nhim was happy with her play, commenting that the course was more difficult than she is used to.
“I hit a lot of greens today and made a great 30-foot putt on No. 10 for birdie,” Nhim said. “My two back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4, 10 and 11 really picked up my momentum.”
Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, sits one stroke behind Nhim after shooting 3-under 33 on the back nine, carding a 2-under-par 70. Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., and Marika Liu of Bradenton, Fla., both sit tied at even-par 72 in third.
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 AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 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.
Tee times for the second-round of the Hanmi Bank Junior Open will run from 7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at the Robinson Ranch Golf Club — Valley Course. For more information, please call Tournament Director Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana at (678) 671-2424.