AJGA GREATER HARTFORD OPEN JUNIOR CLASSIC
Hop Meadow Country Club
August 11-14, 2003
MCLEAN TOPS LEADERBOARD
AFTER FIRST ROUND IN SIMSBURY
Louth fires a 4-over-par 76 to lead Girls Division
SIMSBURY, Conn. - Jon McLean of Weston, Fla., carded
six birdies to finish 4-under-par 68 and take the lead in
the AJGA Greater Hartford Open Junior Classic Tuesday. Kelley
Louth of Victoria, Texas, finished the round two strokes ahead
of her competitors with a 4-over-par 76.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 54-hole event features 100 boys and girls, ages 13-18, from 18 states and Canada. The sixth annual event is being held at the Hop Meadow Country Club for its second year.
McLean finished with a 68 in the final round of the Kroger Junior Invitational last week and began this week's tournament by finishing the first round with the same score.
"That round gave me confidence coming into this tournament," McLean said. "I'm playing one shot at a time and am hoping to do well here."
McLean got off to a good start by carding four birdies in the first six holes.
"I chipped and putted well and was hitting it close every shot," the 17-year-old said. McLean will be finishing the summer with two more tournaments including the AJGA Jeffrey M. Isner Memorial Junior at New Seabury and the AJGA Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior Classic.
James Lee of Indio, Calif., sits in second behind McLean with a 3-under-par 69. Lee had five birdies on the day and accredits his success to the brand new Cleveland Launcher he received two days ago.
"I hit my driver really well," the 16-year-old said. "I had a lot of ups and downs on the front but made a couple of mistakes on the last few holes."
Lee is using this tournament as preparation for the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., next week and is hoping to for a top spot on the leaderboard.
"I want to try hard and see what I can do," Lee said. "I made a lot of putts and hope to do well the rest of the tournament."
In the Girls Division, Louth played a solid round to take the lead going into the second day. The 17-year-old placed third in last week's AJGA Marsh Junior at Hawk Pointe. This event will be Louth's last tournament of summer.
"I want to play well since it's my last one," she said. "I'm going to play my best but I need to play a little safer tomorrow. This course is nice, but it is a challenge if you get off the fairway."
Going into tomorrow's round tied for second are Marika Lendl of Goshen, Conn., and So-Hyun Park of Bradenton, Fla., with 78s.
Lendl finished the day with a birdie on No. 18.
"The greens were tricky today but I hit my short irons well," she said. "If I am close enough to my competitors going into the final round I want to win this event."
Park had two birdies on Nos. 9 and 13 to put her high on the leaderboard. The 14-year-old came in second at the Nike Junior All-Star Series event in Ames, Iowa earlier this summer.
"No. 9 is my favorite," Park said. "I stuck it to within two feet of that hole for my birdie. Tomorrow I am going to try to do my best."
Second-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday off the No. 1 tee at the Hop Meadow Country Club.
For more information on the AJGA Greater Hartford Open Junior Classic contact tournament headquarters at (860) 658-7623.