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ASU Karsten Golf Course
Tempe, Arizona
August 21-24, 2003

Liao takes lead in Girls Division

TEMPE, Ariz. - Daniel Im of La Habra, Calif., took sole possession of the lead in the Boys Division on Saturday after firing a 2-under-par 70 to go 7-under-par 137 after 36 holes of play. In the Girls Division, Ki-Shui Liao of Alameda, Calif., shot 6-under-par 66 to take a three-stroke lead at 9-under-par 135.

The 54-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features a field of 84 players, 60 boys and 24 girls, with 43 competitors hailing from California. Past champions of the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship include Grace Park and Tiger Woods.

Im, 18, started his day strong hitting 16 greens in regulation but failed to convert on many birdie chances. Im used consistent play in the second round to make his score of 2-under-par 70.

"I'm not hitting the ball solid but I know I can put it on the green," Im said. "I'm having trouble reading the greens, I'm going to work on my putting for Sunday."

On the heels of Im is Trey Denton of Canton, Miss. Denton, 17, recorded a 3-under-par 69 to make his two-day total at 6-under-par 138. Denton went even-par 35 on the front nine and 3-under-par 34 on the back nine.

"I hit a lot of good shots today," Denton said. "I'm hitting my irons really well and when I get them going everything else seems to fall into place."

In the Girls Division, the 15-year-old Liao pulled away from the rest of the field and used seven birdies to record her personal best score of 6-under-par 66. Liao shot 3-under-par 32 on the front nine and 3-under-par 34 on the back nine.

"I hit all my drives and irons straight," Liao said. "I just want to go out tomorrow and play my own game, hopefully I'll play just as good."

Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., and Tiffany Joh of San Diego, Calif., are tied for second place at 6-under-par 138.

Park, 14, fired a 3-under-par 32 on the front nine and 2-under-par 35 on the back nine to make her 5-under-par 67.
"Overall I'm pretty happy," Park said. "My iron play was my strength. I put my shots close to the pin and didn't have any pressure putts."

Joh, 16, went even-par 35 on the front nine and used three birdies and an eagle to go 3-under-par 34 on the back nine for a second round total of 3-under-par 69.

"I hit my gap wedge great today," Joh said. "I'm in a good position, if I stay consistent in my short game I'll put myself in good position to win."

Final-round play of the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship begins Sunday, August 24, with tee times starting at 6:30 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information on the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship, contact AJGA tournament headquarters at (480) 784-4834 ext. 227 or log on to ajga.org.