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Totteridge Golf Club
Greensburg, Pa.
July 21-24, 2003

Hill finishes three-strokes clear of the field in the Girls Division

GREENSBURG, Pa. - Brian Belden of Emmaus, Pa., fired a one-under-par 71 in the final round of the AJGA Steel City Junior Classic to pull one stroke ahead of his competition and win his first AJGA title Thursday. Nanette Hill of Pelham Manor, N.Y., carded a 3-over-par 75 on the day to take the victory in the Girls Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the tournament featured 84 boys and girls, ages 13-18, representing 18 states. The 54-hole event was held for the first time at the Totteridge Golf Club in Greensburg, Pa.

Belden (74-72-71-217) had four birdies on the day to secure his lead in the Boys Division.

"I didn't know where I stood today," the 15-year-old said. "I figured I was one or two strokes behind. Then I found out I was tied for first."

Belden entered the final round in a three-way tie for second and came from behind to threaten Greg Rodgers' (70-73-75-218) lead.

"The worst thing you can do in this kind of tournament is worry about what other people are doing," Belden said. "You can only control what you can do, not what others do. Today, I won it on the greens. My goal going into the tournament was not to have any three-putts and no doubles. I only three-putted once today."

Rodgers, 18, of Phoenix, Md., felt he lost the tournament on the greens. He two-putted for pars on the final three holes, keeping him one stroke behind Belden.

"If you are going to win these tournaments, you've got to get lucky," Rodgers said. "I just didn't get lucky. I stayed patient all week and hoped something would fall in, but I can't be disappointed because I played a solid round of golf.

Placing third in the Boys Division with a 223 was John Sawin of Haverford, Pa. Rounding out the top five were David May of Auburn, N.Y., Donald Thomas of Export, Pa., and John Murphy of Murphy, Conn., all carding 227 for the tournament.

In the Girls Division, Hill (79-78-75-232) was two strokes behind Tiffany Tavee (77-76-84-237) starting on the back nine. She started her comeback on the par-5 No. 12 hole, Hill drove it into the fescue, recovered and knocked a 50-yard pitch shot to within one foot of the hole for par. Hill went on to birdie Nos. 14 and 15 to take the lead.

"I made all of my short putts today," the 16-year-old said. "In fact, I putted well all week. That's what won it. It feels awesome. Its my first win and only my second AJGA tournament."

Coming in second in the Girls Division was Tiffany Tavee of Gilbert, Ariz., with a 237. Rounding off the top-three with 246s were Katie Miller of Jeanette, Pa., and Mayule Tomimbang of Kissimmee, Fla.

For more information on the AJGA Steel City Junior Classic or any other AJGA events contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.