hp JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP AT ABACOA
Abacoa Golf Club
July 15-18, 2002
JEON GRABS EARLY LEAD AT
ABACOA WITH CAREER-LOW ROUND
Hage, Erasmus tied for top spot in Girls Division
JUPITER, Fla. - Song Jeon of Ocala, Fla., carded seven
birdies en route to a career-low 6-under-par 66 Tuesday to
pace the Boys Division after the first round of the AJGA hp
Junior Championship at Abacoa. In the Girls Division, Nicole
Hage of Coral Springs, Fla., and Charmaine Erasmus of Bradenton,
Fla., posted matching 1-under-par 71s to lead the way.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA
hp Junior Championship at Abacoa is being held at the par-72
Abacoa Golf Club and features 84 of the top junior golfers
in the country, representing 16 states, Mexico, Paraguay and
Peru. The field also features 59 Florida natives.
Starting on the back nine, Jeon birdied Nos. 11 and 15 to
help him make the turn at 1-under-par. The 16-year-old kept
the momentum on the front with back-to-back birdies on Nos.
1 and 2 before adding another on No. 5 to move to 4-under
for the day.
"I just tried to hit my target today," Jeon said.
"I wasn't thinking about making birdies. I only hit 11
greens today, but if I hit a green, I would make a birdie."
Jeon drained a 20-footer for birdie on No. 7 before notching
his fifth birdie on the front nine on the par-3, 190-yard
"I missed a six-footer to the right on No. 9 for birdie,"
said Jeon, who finished a shot away from the tournament record.
"I made every putt today except for the last hole. I'm
going to try to do my best again tomorrow and hopefully be
a little more accurate with my driver."
Orlando, Fla., natives Greg Koch and Giwon Suh posted 3-under-par
69s to sit in a tie for second. Suh tallied four birdies on
the day, while Koch recovered from a 2-over-par 38 on his
front nine with a 5-under-par 31 on the back, that included
a string of four straight birdies.
Tyler Hitchcock, also of Orlando, Dave Tiffenberg of Tampa,
Fla., and Brad Doster of Winter Park, Fla., are tied for fourth
Hage, fresh off her appearance in the U.S. Women's Open, played
a steady opening round, carding three birdies and two bogeys.
"I hit my irons well today and drove the ball well. Everything
went pretty good," said Hage, who hit 14 of 18 greens.
"I had a lot of wedge shots I could have got a lot closer
if I would have spun them more, so I know what I need to do
Erasmus, who was co-medalist in Sunday's qualifer, posted
her first career under-par round with a 71. The 17-year-old
was 3-under-par through 11 holes before making a double-bogey
on No. 12. Erasmus was able to make par the rest of the way
to hang onto a share of the lead.
"I didn't make many mistakes today," Erasmus said.
"My putting was working well today. My whole short game
was working well today. I'm just going to stick with what
I've been doing for tomorrow."
Lisa Tyler of Lighthouse Point, Fla., rounds out the top three
with a 1-over-par 73.
Second-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday,
July 17, off the No. 1 and 10 tees at Abacoa Golf Club.
For more information on the AJGA hp Junior Championship at
Abacoa, please call tournament headquarters at (561) 656-2601.