The Peninsula Club
Cornelius, N.C.
July 22-25, 2002

Simons, Myers shoot low round in Girls Division to share lead

CORNELIUS, N.C. - Three players fired 3-under-par 68s Tuesday to sit atop the leaderboard in a tie for first at the AJGA PING Junior at The Peninsula Club. Maggie Simons of Raleigh, N.C., and Whitney Myers of East Berlin, Pa., both carded rounds of 1-under-par 71 for a share of the lead in the Girls Division.

Thomas Feldman of Washington, D.C., Drew Weaver of High Point, N.C., and Ty Lefler of Apex, N.C., all fired 33-35-68, the low score after the first round.

The PING Junior at The Peninsula Club, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 99 boys and girls representing 18 states, with the majority of players hailing from North Carolina.

Feldman, who will play golf next year at Miami of Ohio, started strong with a birdie on the first hole. However, the highlight of his round came on the par-4, 462-yard ninth when the 18-year-old sunk a 25-foot birdie putt for a 2-under-par 33 on the front. Feldman also carded birdies on Nos. 5, 11 and 15.

"I wanted to make sure I didn't hit it in the rough around the greens," Feldman said. "Bermuda grass is awful to try and hit out of."

The turning point in Weaver's round came on the par-4, 462-yard fifth when he made a clutch 15-foot putt to save par. Although the 15-year-old proceeded to bogey Nos. 9 and 10, the par putt on No. 5 gave him confidence in his putting.

"That putt really kickstarted my round," said Weaver, who recorded five birdies on the day. "I hit the ball well and made 10 and 12-foot putts that haven't been falling for me."

Lefler carded a pair of birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 for a 2-under-par front nine. After a birdie and bogey on Nos. 12 and 13 left him at 2-under through 13 holes, the 17-year-old finished with a bang on No. 18, making birdie on the par-5, 548-yard hole.

Will Shambley of Cary, N.C., and Brad Doster of Winter Park, Fla., are both one-stroke behind the leaders in a tie for fourth. Shambley carded three birdies en route to a round of 34-35-69, and Doster posted a pair of birdies on the front and one on the back for 33-36-69.

In the Girls Division, Simons had a solid front nine, and an eagle on No. 10 to put her at 4-under-par after 10 holes. Simons, who has never shot under par in a tournament, holed out from 60 yards for eagle. The 17-year-old was up and down after that, carding bogeys on the next three holes before sinking birdies on Nos. 14 and 15.

"On this course, you just have to hit fairways and greens," said Simons (34-37-71). "The rough is thick around the greens, so it's tough to get up and down if you miss the green. I could have been a lot lower, but I missed three two-foot putts today."

Myers, 16, started her round with a bogey on No. 3, but recovered to fire two birdies on Nos. 5 and 9 for a front nine total of 35. On the back side, Myers again started with a bogey on No. 11 only to finish at even after making birdie on No. 14.

Polo Golf Junior All-American Mallory Hetzel, a native of Summerville, S.C., is three strokes behind the leaders in second place after shooting 2-over-par 74.

Second-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, off the No. 1 tee at The Peninsula Club.

For more information on the AJGA PING Junior at The Peninsula Club, contact tournament headquarters at (704) 896-7060.


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