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Boulder Creek Golf Club
Boulder City, Nevada
June 15, 2003

Erik Coover and Esther Choe top Boys and Girls Divisions

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Amid windy conditions and hot temperatures at Boulder Creek Golf Club, Erik Coover of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Esther Choe of La Quinta, Calif., lead a field of 12 boys qualifiers and 3 girls qualifiers into this week's Sprint Junior Golf Championship hosted by the Las Vegas Founders.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, Sunday's field included 83 boys and 16 girls from 11 states.
Coover topped the Boys Division, carding a 70. Coover totaled four birdies, compared to only two bogeys, on his way to qualifying for his fourth AJGA event.

"I birdied two of the first three holes," commented Coover. "I also putted well, especially from within eight feet."

Coover was well prepared for the windy conditions at Boulder Creek.

"I figured that it would be windy because of the course being open and in the desert, so all last week I worked on kockdown shots," said Coover.

Coover's preparation showed, allowing him to join the 51 boys already in Tuesday's first round.

"I've really played well the last couple of weeks and that has really helped my confidence for today, and now Tuesday and the rest of the tournament," commented Coover.

Following Coover was Joshua Kelley of Upland, Calif., and Jin Hur of Indio, Calif., who shot even-par 72, to tie for second.

Kelley will be making his third appearance in an AJGA event following a round that included an eagle, one birdie and only three bogeys despite the windy conditions.

"The wind was brutal," commented Kelley. "I just tried to minimize the damage by taking safe shots and trying to keep the ball in play."

Joining Coover, Kelley and Hur will be nine other boys. Billy Olsen of Fountain Valley, Calif., carded a 73 to place fourth. He was followed in fifth by JJ Scurich of Corralitos, Calif., Ryan Block of Temecula, Calif., Bobby Martin of Bakersfield, Calif., and Anoop Shah of Tarzana, Calif., who all carded 74s. Derek Zellmer of Huntington Beach, Calif., Meen Huh of La Palma, Calif., and Johnny Pinjuv of Las Vegas, Nev., also qualified, both carding 75. In addition, qualifying in a two-hole sudden-death playoff was Ryan Dunham of West Covina, Calif.

In the Girls Division, 13-year-old Esther Choe carded a 75, to qualify for her fourth AJGA event. With Choe qualifying, the Sprint Junior Championship hosted by the Las Vegas Founders Founders will have a family touch to it as Choe's older brother, 18-year-old Ben, will be in the Boys Division.

"I am really excited to qualify for the tournament and play with my brother," said Choe.

Like her competitors, Choe was also troubled by the elements.

"The wind was really tough," remarked Choe. "The wind was especially hard for the last eight holes and made putting difficult."

Also qualifying in the Girls Division was Darlene Gayle Bognot of Sylmar, Calif., and Vanessa Sinclair of Allyn, Wash. Gayle Bognot carded a 6-over-par 78, while Sinclair totaled an 8-over-par 80.

The first round of the Sprint Junior Championship hosted by the Las Vegas Founders begins Tuesday with first-round tee times starting at 7 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees.

For more information on the Sprint Junior Golf Championship hosted by the Las Vegas Founders, please contact tournament headquarters at (702) 294-6534..