BAKER TAKES LEAD AT 72 IN WINDY CITY
Nakazaki withstands gusty conditions for Girls Division lead
BOLINGBROOK, ILL.- Chris Baker of Brownstown, Ind.,
breezed his way to the top of the Boys Division in the AJGA
Chicago Junior at Bolingbrook with an even-par 72. In the
Girls Division, Noriko Nakazaki of Hanover Park, Ill., carded
a 77 for a three-stroke advantage.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Chicago Junior at Bolingbrook features 99 juniors, 75 boys and 24 girls, from 16 states and two from Canada. 46 of the juniors are from Illinois.
Baker (36-36-72) and all the juniors battled 20 mile per hour winds for most of their round on Tuesday.
"In these conditions, I just wanted to keep my tee shots in the fairway and just hang on in the wind," Baker said.
Baker, playing in his fourth AJGA event this season, punctuated his round with an eagle on the par 4 No. 16, from 142 yards with a pitching wedge.
"My drive wasn't perfect," said the 17-year-old. "I just wanted to put my pitching wedge close, but I knew I hit it perfectly once it left the club."
Baker's highest finish in the 2003 season was 11th at the AJGA Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic in Ringgold, Ga.
Rounding out the top five after the first round in the Boys Division are Joe Cermak of Chicago at 34-39-73, and a three-way tie for third with Eric Meierdierks of Wilmette, Ill., Daniel Woltman of Beaver Dam, Wis., and Sam Rosati of Oldsmar, Fla., at 2-over-par 74.
Nakazaki, heading to Notre Dame in the fall, was even par after the front nine. The conditions were not the cause for Nakazaki's (36-41-77) problems on the back nine, but a loss of concentration.
"My front nine went very well today," said the 18-year-old. "Unfortunately I lost my concentration on the back nine. The wind doesn't bother me because I have played in it before."
The top three in the Girls Division after Tuesday's first round are Chaneng Joe of Poway, Calif., at 40-40-80 in second and Ashley Freeman of Belleville, Ill., at 40-41-81 in third.
Second-round tee times begin at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 tee at Bolingbrook Golf Club. For more information on the AJGA Chicago Junior at Bolingbrook, contact tournament headquarters at (630) 771-9400.