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The Westin Mission Hills Resort, Pete Dye Course
Rancho Mirage, California
June 22, 2003

Choe and Sanders take top spots

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.- Ben Choe of La Quinta, Calif., and Jen Sanders of Placentia, Calif., took top honors at the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills Qualifier.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, Sunday's field included 88 boys and 16 girls from five states.

Coming off a 17th place finish last week in Boulder City, Nev., Choe was poised to qualify for the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills.

Choe carded a bogey-free 3-under-par 67 Sunday, two shots ahead of the nearest competitors. Choe's round also included three birdies, all on the front nine.

"My short game was pretty good today and that kept me around the holes," remarked Choe. "Hopefully I can carry this kind of play through the rest of the tournament."

Placing second was a pair of first time qualifiers. Matthew Tom of Norwalk, Calif., and Kyle Borggrebe of West Hills, Calif., each carded 1-under-par 69s Sunday.

Sixteen-year-old Tom's round of 69 included three birdies and two bogeys.

"It's very exciting to qualify for my first-ever AJGA event," commented Tom. "My irons and approach shots were on and I was on the green in regulation all of the time."

Borggrebe, a fellow 16-year-old, carded three birdies and two bogeys as well.

"Chipping helped me out today, but my putting really let me down," Borggrebe said. I'm excited to qualify for the tournament. I hope to play consistently and gain a lot of experience this week and hopefully do well."

Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division are Jason Kang of Torrance, Calif., Nathan Phan of San Diego, Calif., and
Cameron Tringale of Laguna Niguel, Calif. Kang carded an even-par 70 for the round, while Phan and Tringale each shot 71.

Also qualifying with 2-over-par rounds of 72 were Jameson Lovell of Simi Valley, Calif., Ross Takesue of Cerritos, Calif., Steve Less of Lower Burrell, Pa., Bo DeHuff of Coto de Caza, Calif., Bobby Martin of Bakersfield, Calif., Blake Trimble of Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., and Brett Mormann of Santa Barbara, Calif.

On the first hole of a sudden-death-playoff, Michael Benvenuti of Costa Mesa, Calif., and Eric Rasmussen of Canyon Lake, Calif., grabbed the final two spots of the qualifier in the Boys Division.

In the Girls Division, five California residents qualified. Leading the way was Jen Sanders, who carded a 1-over-par 71 to qualify for her second-ever AJGA tournament. The 17-year-old had only 24 putts aiding her to a round that included four birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey.

"I chipped really well today and got up-and-down a lot," commented Sanders. "I missed qualifying here last year by one stroke, so I'm very excited to qualify this year."

Joining Sanders will be 15-year-old Sydnee Michaels of Temecula, Calif. Michaels shot a 2-over-par 72 that included two birdies and four bogeys. This will be Michaels' second AJGA tournament.

"My putting definitely helped me out a ton today, and my drives weren't too bad," remarked Micheals. "I really liked the course, and I am really excited to qualify."

Placing third and qualifying with rounds of 73 were Maria Ham of Torrance, Calif., and Shannon Yocum of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

Also qualifying Sunday was Kimberly Silber of Chula Vista, Calif. Silber carded a 74 through 18 holes and went on to qualify on the third hole of a sudden-death-playoff.

The first round of the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills begins Tuesday with tee times starting at 6:30 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees.

For more information on the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills, please call and ask for AJGA tournament headquarters at (760) 324-9400 or visit the American Junior Golf Association's Web site at ajga.org.