JOH FIRES 67 TO TAKE LEAD
AT DIABLO GRANDE
Puterbaugh and Sharp share lead in Boys Division
PATTERSON, Calif. - Tiffany Joh of
San Diego carded a 5-under-par 67 Tuesday, and sits atop the
leaderboard of the Girls Division at the AJGA Needham Junior
at Diablo Grande. Jamie Puterbaugh of Carlsbad, Calif., and
Brady Sharp of Port Orchard, Wash., also carded rounds of
5-under-par 67 Tuesday and share the lead in the Boys Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Needham Junior at Diablo Grande is being held at the par-72 Diablo Grande - The Legends West Course and features a field of 72 boys and 27 girls from 10 states and South Korea.
Joh's career-low round 67 included an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys, which puts her 4 shots ahead of Da-Sol Chung, who shot 71.
"Usually I save strokes with my putts," commented Joh, who said putting was the key. "But today I was able to capitalize on the greens that I hit. I typically putt well, but I was striking the ball great and that made it happen."
An eagle on the par-5, 487-yard No. 2 highlighted Joh's round.
"I chipped from fringe and I thought I hit it too hard, but it hit the pin and went in," Joh remarked. "I was shocked at first, then really excited."
As the week continues, Joh looks to improve on her best AJGA finish, third at the 2003 Heather Farr Classic.
"I'm nervous, but I want to win if I have this type of lead to go on," Joh said.
Joh is followed in second place by Da-sol Chung of Seoul, South Korea, who has spent the last month in the United States and is participating in her first AJGA event. Chung's round included four birdies and three bogeys.
"I need to work on my iron-play for tomorrow," Chung said. "Besides my iron-play, everything went well. The landing areas are tough here, making it a tough course overall."
The Korean native, Chung, is no stranger to success. Thus far in 2003, Chung has already conquered the British Junior Open and the Korean Junior Open, winning both. Chung has also participated in the U.S. Junior Championship and made the cut at the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., and Sommer Scholl of Riverside, Calif., carded even-par 72s and are currently tied for third.
In the Boys Division, Puterbaugh, 18, carded six birdies compared to only one bogey, en route to his round of 67.
"I made a lot of putts today and didn't make many mistakes," commented Puterbaugh.
The San Diego State signee is coming off a recent break from the junior golf circuit and is playing in his first AJGA tournament since the AJGA Heather Farr Classic in mid-April.
"It's shocking and kind of weird to be playing this well and sitting in first place after such a long break," remarked Puterbaugh.
Sharp's round of 67 included five birdies, one eagle and two bogeys.
"I started off well and played solidly all day today," commented Sharp, who was even on the front-nine and five-under-par on the back.
Sharp looks improve on his best AJGA finish, 10th at the AJGA 2002 Spokane Junior Classic.
"I just want to go out and have fun,"
Sharp said. "It would be great to finish strong and have
a good week."
Louie Bishop of Murrietta, Calif., and Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash., carded equal rounds of 4-under-par 68 and currently stand in third place.
With matching 2-under-par 70s, four juniors are tied for fifth following Tuesday's first round. Michael Jensen of Los Altos, Calif., Billy Olsen of Fountain Valley, Calif., Kyle Takesue of Cerritos, Calif., and Chris Wells of Mobile, Ala., all carded matching rounds of 2-under-par.
The second round of the AJGA Needham Junior at Diablo Grande begins Wednesday with tee times starting at 7 a.m. off the first tee.
For more information on the AJGA Needham Junior at Diablo Grande, please contact tournament headquarters at (209) 892-4653.
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