THE MEMORIAL JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card
The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course
August 3-6, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ben Bastel of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, fired a 5-under-par 67, to take the lead in the Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card. Holly Niederkohr of Marysville, Ohio, leads the Girls Division by one stroke, after shooting a first-round 70. A strong late morning thundershower resulted in a one-hour and 41 minute rain delay.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card is a 54-hole stroke play event, being held at The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course. The tournament features 101 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, from 16 states and Canada, including 48 players from Ohio.
Bastel, who will be a high school senior, was able to start his day off fast, making birdies on the par-4 2nd hole and the par-5 4th. After a bogey on No. 5, he was able to close out his nine with a birdie on No. 9, for a front-side 34. On the back nine, he took advantage of the par-5s, birding the 12th and making eagle on No. 14 after his second shot landed on the green 15 feet from the hole. His only blemish on the back nine came on No. 15 where he made bogey. He would get that stroke back with a birdie on the final hole, hitting his 6-iron to 12 feet and rolling the putt in for a one-stroke cushion.
“I just tried to keep myself in play out there today,” Bastel explained. “I hit my irons well and hit a lot of greens today. The greens are pretty soft, but for the amount of rain, the course is in good shape.”
Bastel leads a host of individuals who were able to record under-par rounds at the difficult Scarlet Course. Trailing by just one-stroke is Brad Benjamin of Rockford, Ill., and Dan Rush of Avon Lake, Ohio, carding rounds of 68. Andy Connell of Lima, Ohio, and Nick Pumford of St. Charles, Mich., are tied for fourth, finishing the first round with 3-under-par 69s. In all, there were 14 boys who finished the day with rounds under-par.
Niederkohr fired matching front and back nine 35s on her way to the first-round lead. The 17-year-old recorded four birdies and only two bogeys on the day. She also managed to hit 14 greens on the Scarlet Course and only recorded one three-putt on the day.
“The course sets up well for my game,” Niederkohr said. “I hit my driver straight and I believe that is what you have to do on this course.”
Niederkohr’s birdies came on Nos. 3 and 5 on the front nine, and Nos. 11 and 16 on the back nine. Her only bogeys for the round occurred on the fourth and fourteenth holes, both par-5s. Her familiarity of the course contributed to her success during the round.
“I live only 30 minutes away, so I have been able to play this course a lot, including three times last week,” Niederkohr commented.
Amber Lundskog of San Diego, Calif., sits one stroke-back after tallying a first-round 1-under-par 71. Tied for third is Chloe Nelson of Las Vegas, and Niederkohr’s high school teammate, Carly Truitt of Marysville, Ohio, with matching 76s.
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 AJGA has a 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 USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
Second-round tee times will begin Thursday at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:27 p.m. at The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course. For more information on the Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card, please contact tournament headquarters at (678) 617-2427.