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Hop Meadow Country Club
Simsbury, Connecticut
August 11-14, 2003

Louth holds top position heading into final round in Hartford

SIMSBURY, Conn. - James Lee of Indio, Calif., fired a 5-under-par 67 in the second round of the AJGA Greater Hartford Open Junior Classic to hold the top spot going into the final round with a tournament total of 136. Kelley Louth of Victoria, Texas, shot a 2-over-par 74 to retain her lead in the Girls Division.

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.

Lee compounded his bogey-free round with five birdies to take the Boys Division lead by three strokes over Jon McLean of Weston, Fla.

"The greens were faster today and in better condition, which works well with my game," Lee said. He attributes most of his success on the day to his putting.

"I was trying hard not to make bogey," Lee said. "I only took 27 putts and they were going great. Lee had birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6 and 11.

Even though he came in with the low round Wednesday, Lee feels that there are a few more strokes to be earned out there.

"I have not been able to overcome Nos. 17 and 18," Lee said. "I have had birdie putts on those holes both rounds but have ended up with par both times."

Louth also thought that it was her putting that was giving her an edge in the Girls Division.

"My putting was good today and my irons were working really well," Louth said. She had birdies on Nos. 5, 10 and 12, but went on to bogey four of the final six holes.

"I was feeling pretty confident but had a few bad drives for those bogeys," Louth said. "I just need to come in tomorrow, keep it straight and go for par."

Following behind Lee in the Boys Division is first-round leader McLean. He came in with two birdies and a bogey to shoot 1-under-par 71 for a 139 tournament total.

"I was hitting really good today and feel good with the 71," McLean said. "I felt like I putted good but just skimmed the edges on some of the cups."

Rounding out the top-five in the Boys Division are Andrew DiBietto of Rochester, N.Y., and Michael Quagliano of White Plains, N.Y. Both enter the final round with identical totals of 73-70-143.

George Gandranata of Bradenton, Fla., fired a 1-under-par 71 to round out the top-five with a tournament total of 144.

Meredith Godwin (79-73-152) of Swarthmore, Pa., carded two birdies in the second round to finish two strokes behind Louth.

Connecticut native Marika Lendl of Goshen, who played in Sunday's qualifier to enter the tournament, posted a solid 77 to go into the final round in third, five strokes behind the leader.

So-Hyun Park of Bradenton, Fla., and Juli Wightman of Chicopee, Mass., round out the top-five with tournament totals of 156. Wightman shot the round's low score in the Girls Division with an even-par 72.

Final-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday 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.