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Austin Country Club

Austin, Texas

July 5-8, 2004



Lopez leads Boys Division by three strokes with 4-under-par 68


AUSTIN, Texas – Kimberly Meck of Austin, Texas, came through for the home crowd in Tuesday’s first round, firing a 4-under-par 68 and taking a two-stroke lead in the Girls Division of the PING Harvey Penick Junior at Austin Country Club. In the Boys Division, Lance Lopez of Missouri City, Texas, also carded a 4-under-par 68 to take a three-stroke lead.


Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the PING Harvey Penick Junior is being held at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas. The 54-hole event features 120 players from 11 states and Mexico, including 100 from Texas. The tournament is highlighted by second-team Rolex Junior All-Americans Jeff Gerlich of Austin, Texas, and Lauren Espinosa of Hickory Creek, Texas, third-team Rolex Junior All-American Lance Lopez of Missouri City, Texas, and two honorable mention Rolex Junior All-Americans, Michael Randle of Austin, Texas, and Stefanie Page of The Woodlands, Texas.


Meck opened her round with a bogey at the par-5 first hole and immediately changed her mental approach.


“I was thinking that I needed to relax and just put it in play in the fairway,” Meck said. “I swung more relaxed and started knocking approaches close to the hole.”


Meck rallied to shoot a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine, then went on a tear with birdies at Nos. 10, 11, 13 and 15 to take the outright lead.


“I just tried to stay focused and have fun,” Meck said. “It’s a really good feeling because all my support is in this city – it’s great having friends and family out here to support me.”


Michaela Cavener of Tulsa, Okla., holds second place by four strokes with a 2-under-par 70, and Taylore Karle of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Lauren Espinosa of Hickory Creek, Texas, each carded a 74.


In the Boys Division, Lopez jump-started his round with a birdie at No. 1, then birdied Nos. 6 and 8 to get to 3-under-par on the front nine.


“My birdie at No. 1 really gave me adrenaline to keep going,” Lopez said.


On the back nine, Lopez bounced back from a bogey at No. 13 with an eagle at No. 15, then coasted in to complete his solid round.


“Mostly it was my short game that did the job – I only hit 10 greens,” Lopez said. “My putting is the strongest part of my game right now.”


Lopez, who finished second at the PING Harvey Penick Junior last year, said he has to continue to manage the course well to win.


“You’ve got to be able to miss in the right spots and make pars,” Lopez said.


Will Griffin of San Antonio, Texas, shot a 1-under-par 71 and was the only other player to finish in red numbers. Four players are tied at 72, including Jason Schulte of Kansas City, Mo.; Kyle Redman of Southlake, Texas; Nick Williams of New Braunfels, Texas; and Michael Randle of Austin, Texas.


The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The largest association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.


Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch U.S.A., a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.


Second-round tee times begin Wednesday at 7 a.m., off the No. 1 tee. For more information on the PING Harvey Penick Junior, contact Tournament Headquarters at (512) 869-3298 or visit ajga.org.