ASHWORTH PRESEASON JUNIOR AT LAS CRUCES
Picacho Hills Country Club
Las Cruces, New Mexico
March 14-16, 2003
KERR LEADS AFTER 1-UNDER-PAR 71 IN
OPENING ROUND ACTION
Ryan Kelley’s Hole In One on No. 15 Highlights First Round Play
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Keith Kerr of Spring, Texas, distanced the field with a 1-under-par 71 in opening round play at the Ashworth Preseason Junior at Las Cruces.
The 36-hole, stroke-play tournament is being held at the par-72 Picacho Hills Country Club. Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, this Ashworth Preseason event features 84 boys ages 13-18 representing 15 states.
Kerr, 15, started strong on the front nine with birdies on Nos. 3, 6, and 7 for a 3-under-par 33.
“I was comfortable at 3-under-par for the front nine,” Kerr said. “If anything happened on the back I would still be around par.”
The first round leader shook off consecutive bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13, playing the last four holes at even par for a 38 on the back nine.
“I felt confident going in because I was swinging well,” said the 15-year-old of his mindset for playing in his first AJGA event. “It was good to get a solid round under my belt.”
The par-3 185-yard No. 15 saw many impressive tee shots on Saturday, but none more spectacular than Ryan Kelley’s hole in one. Kelley, of Phoenix, Ariz., launched an 8-iron shot that landed one foot beyond the hole and spun back into the cup.
“It was going right at it and I was thinking birdie,” said the 15-year-old of his miraculous feat. “I was starting to warm up going into that hole, so it kind of jumpstarted my round.”
Kelley finished the day in second place with nines of 39 and 34 for a 1-over-par 73. David McDaniel, Tucson, Ariz., and Dylan Miles, Cottonwood, Ariz., both ended up three shots off the lead with scores of 74.
The AJGA’s Ashworth Preseason/Postseason Junior Series is a boys-only series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event. For those who are eligible, participation is limited to one Preseason event and one Postseason event per calendar year as long as they have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event.
Now in its fourth year, the Ashworth Preseason/Postseason Series grew from eight events in 2002 to 10 in 2003. The Series helps juniors gain the experience needed to compete at the national level. The first Preseason event was held in Dothan, Ala., and the remaining schedule includes events in Patterson, Calif., Hot Springs, Ark., and College Park, Md.
The tournament will award three AJGA Open tournament exemptions to the medalist(s), two to those who place in the top five and one to those who finish in the top 15. In an effort to give the most playing opportunities to juniors, all Ashworth Preseason/Postseason events will not have a playoff to break ties.
The tournament final round shotgun will be held at Picacho Hills Country Club at 8 a.m on Sunday. For more information about the Ashworth Preseason Junior at Las Cruces, please contact tournament headquarters at (505) 523-8641, extension 2, or visit the Association’s Web site at ajga.org.
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