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The Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort - Copperhead and Island Courses
Palm Harbor, Florida
July 27-August 1, 2003

Sipe one stroke back of lead as 78 players make the cut

PALM HARBOR, Fla. - Lance Lopez of Fresno, Texas, fired an even-par 71 on the Copperhead Course to grab a one-stroke lead after the second round of the AJGA hp Boys Junior Championship on Wednesday at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort. Lopez stands at 3-under-par 140.

The 72-hole stroke-play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 143 boys from 29 states and two foreign countries. The event is being contested at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort, Copperhead and Island Courses. First- and second-round play took place on both courses during the first and second rounds. The Copperhead will serve as the tournament course for the final 36 holes. Past champions of the event include David Duval, Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods.

After two rounds, the tournament field was cut to the top 72 players including ties. Seventy-eight boys made the cut at 10-over-par 153.

It took Lopez, who began the day one shot behind the leader, a little while to get his round rolling. Despite two bogeys and a double bogey on the front nine of the Copperhead Course, Lopez finished strong as he recorded birdies on three holes on the back nine.

"I just hung in there, did all I could and came out strong," Lopez said. "I feel very confident with my ball-striking and my irons and drivers."

Lopez's score of 3-under-par 140 puts him in first place by one-shot. Derek Sipe of Yorba Linda, Calif., rode the low round of the tournament, a 4-under-par 67, into second place with a two-day total of 2-under-par 141.

"I feel good,"Sipe said. "I don't mind starting one shot back because I'd love to make a little come-from-behind run. I feel confident. I'm hitting the ball well and putting it well. I'd love to shoot another 67."

On the Island Course, Timothy Freund of Greensboro, Ga., stands at 1-under-par 142 and sits alone in third place after the second round of play. Freund struggled on the back nine shooting a 3-over-par 39, but settled down after making the turn. He got rolling on No. 1 and had four birdies on the front nine.

"After I doubled No. 18 I got angry and decided I was going to make some birdies," Freund said. "No. 18 woke me up. I was in a daze after the delay, but my birdie on one got me back on track and built my confidence."

Mark Anderson of Beaufort, S.C., and Trent Leon of Dallas remain in contention with two-day totals of even-par 143 after solid rounds on the Copperhead Course. Anderson jumped up from 13th place with a round of 1-under-par 70 Wednesday. Leon fired a second-round 3-over-par 74. The duo is tied for fourth place.

Third-round tee-times will begin at 8:00 a.m. Thursday on the Copperhead Course and conclude at 9:48 a.m. For more information on the AJGA hp Boys Junior Championship, contact tournament headquarters at (727) 942-2000, ext. 2889, or log onto ajga.org.