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AJGA ASHWORTH PRESEASON JUNIOR AT MARYLAND
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, Maryland
April 4-6, 2003


HEDGE FREEZES HIS WAY TO OPENING-ROUND LEAD WITH 73
Damp weather holds 84 players above par at the AJGA Ashworth Preseason at Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Wet and cold weather conditions challenged the 84 players who invaded the fairways of the University of Maryland Golf Course Saturday for the first round of the AJGA Ashworth Preseason Junior at Maryland. But Josh Hedge of Billings, Mont., captured first round honors, despite the undesirable playing temperatures.

The AJGA Ashworth Preseason at Maryland, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, is a 36-hole stroke play tournament that consists of a boys-only field (ages 13-18) representing 18 states and Canada, including 10 Maryland natives.

The 16-year-old Hedge (35-38-73) began his solid round with an impressive up-and-down from a downward slope on No. 11, which was his second hole of the day. He then continued to steady his play by making several 6-foot putts and two birdies.

"I played very well even though the course was so wet. I really hit it well off the tee and was able to finish off most of my putts," Hedge said.

Being a Montana native certainly had its advantages for his 2-over-par 73 performance in Saturday's round.

"I really started playing about two weeks ago because of the snow. I am certainly used to this type of weather," he said. "This is the first tournament I have competed in this year and it feels good to be out here playing."

For tomorrow's round, the high school sophomore Hedge plans to play consistent and take any chances when needed.

"I just want to play my game and try not to let my head get too big," Hedge said.

Trailing by one stroke behind the leader are Bill McCrossan of Newtown Square, Pa., and Andrew Osofsky of Huntington, N.Y. Rounding out the top five with 75s includes Maryland native Adam Kraison of Potomac; David Miller of Chillicothe, Ohio; Danny Weisenberg of Sarasota, Fla.; and Charlie Thompson of Naperville, Ill.

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 University of Maryland Golf Course.
For more information about the Ashworth Preseason Junior at Maryland, please contact tournament headquarters at is (301) 314-9857