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Hot Springs Country Club, Arlington Course
Hot Springs, Arkansas
March 28-30, 2003

AJGA conducts inaugural event in Arkansas

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Two Dallas-area natives were right at home in the gusty winds Saturday in Hot Springs, Ark., as they sit atop the leaderboard at the AJGA Ashworth Preseason Junior at Hot Springs. Matt Marrs of Carrollton, Texas, and Michael Gammon of Garland, Texas, fired two-over-par 74s in the cold winds.

The 36-hole stroke play tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 84 boys, ages 13-18, representing 16 states. The tournament, which is the first-ever AJGA event in the state of Arkansas, is being held on the Arlington Course at Hot Springs Country Club.

Marrs, 16, used a 55-foot birdie putt on No. 6 to build confidence and jump-start his round.

"I struggled a little with the wind and my putting down the stretch today," Marrs said. "I was hitting my irons really well, which is what saved me today. My short game also bailed me out a lot today. Tomorrow I need to continue being confident and have a good attitude."

Gammon, who plays a lot of golf with Marrs in Texas, started the day shaky but bounced back after making a triple bogey on the first hole and a bogey on the second. The 17-year-old went on to birdie five holes, including three on the front nine.

"After the first hole, I thought 'This is going to be a long day,'" Gammon said. "I was hitting it pretty stiff all day. The key to my round was my putting. Tomorrow I just need to get off to a good start."

One stroke off the pace at 75 is Josh Bain of Abilene, Texas, and Reed Davis of Cordova, Tenn. Rounding out the top five are Nicholas Miller of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Peter Gobis of Racine, Wis.

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.

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 tournament will award three AJGA exemptions to the medalist, two to those who place in the top five and one to those who finish in the top 15.

The tournament concludes Sunday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start at the Arlington Course at Hot Springs Country Club.

For more information about the Ashworth Preseason Junior at Hot Springs, please contact tournament headquarters at (501) 624-3912.