Diablo Grande, The Ranch Course
Patterson, California
March 21-23, 2003

14-year-old edges Kim by a stroke

PATTERSON, Calif. - Jordan Cox of Redwood City, Calif., captured the title at the Ashworth Preseason Junior at Diablo Grande with a final-round, 2-over-par 74. His two-day tally of 145 left him 1-over-par for the tournament. The 36-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 90 boys, ages 13-18, representing six states and Canada. The tournament was held on The Ranch Course at Diablo Grande.

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 AJGA Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event.

Cox entered the drizzly final round with a one-stroke lead over Tyler Ichikawa of Los Altos, Calif., and a two-stroke lead over Sihwan Kim of La Mirada, Calif. Cox and Kim each began play with a birdie on No. 1 after knocking their approach shots to within a few feet. A bogey by Cox on No. 2 opened the door for Kim, and he capitalized with a birdie on the par-3 fourth hole.

Kim blitzed the first nine holes with a 2-under-par 34, while Cox's 38 left him two strokes behind Kim heading into the back nine.

Cox's round began to percolate on the par-3, 180-yard 11th hole. He launched a 6-iron shot that landed 25 feet from the cup. A long birdie opportunity now available, Cox settled in and lined up his putt.

"I felt comfortable over the ball," said the native of Redwood City, Calif. "It was headed right for the heart of the cup."

The ball rolled in and Cox eased into his comeback on the back nine. "I had a tough front nine, so that putt really turned it around," he said.

Kim's double-bogey on No. 14 provided separation and Cox sailed to victory with pars on the final three holes to claim a one-stroke victory.

"The feeling of winning is indescribable," said the champion. "It feels good to get through an AJGA tournament because now the pressure is off."

Kim finished the day with a 1-over-par 73 to claim the runner-up spot. Ichikawa was in contention throughout the day as well, but finished two strokes off the lead with a final round 3-over-par 75 and a weekend total 147. Eric Mina of Fremont, Calif., was fourth with rounds of 74 and 76. Tied for fifth were Kevin Horan of Marina Del Rey, Calif., Arthur Golden III of Long Beach, Calif., and Geoff Gonzalez of Diablo, Calif., with final scores of 152.

Now in its fourth year, the Ashworth Preseason/Postseason Junior 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 Preseason schedule continues March 28-30 in Hot Springs, Ark.

For more information about the Ashworth Preseason Junior Series, please contact the American Junior Golf Association headquarters at (877) 373-2542.

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