Elks Run Golf Club
Batavia, Ohio
August 5-8, 2002

Granada maintains Girls Division lead by one stroke

BATAVIA, Ohio - Taking advantage of almost perfect morning weather conditions Wednesday, Mark Cimarolli of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass., both wrapped up the day with two-round totals of 144 to head into Thursday's final round as co-leaders. In the Girls Division, honorable mention Polo Golf Junior All-American Julieta Granada holds onto a one-shot lead after shooting 4-over-par 75.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Kroger Junior Invitational features a 102-player field of 78 boys and 24 girls representing 18 states and Canada and is being held at the par-71 Elks Run Golf Club.

Cimarolli, the medalist in Sunday's Qualifier, carded three birdies and three bogeys on the day to finish at even-par 71 and move up the leaderboard in his first career AJGA tournament.

"I was able to keep it out of the heather today," the 17-year-old Cimarolli said about the tall rough. "I also made a lot of putts but I thought the scores would be lower."

A second day of gusty winds made for another tough round, but Cimarolli was able to play through it.

"I had to compensate a club or two for the wind," Cimarolli said. "It just made the course tougher to play, especially with the challenging high grass."

Curran had another consistent round as he held onto a share of the lead after shooting 73 on the day. The 15-year-old carded two birdies on the front nine and made the turn at 2-under-par, but carded two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine.

"The course was harder to play today," Curran said. "But I only had one bad hole. This course is definitely tough and challenging."

The Massachusetts native plans to continue his game as he seeks his first career AJGA win.

"I've played well both days," Curran said. "I'll be fine as long as I continue playing with no mistakes."

Brandon Boomsma (76-70-146) of Munster, Ind., stands alone in third after firing the lone under-par score on the day with a 1-under-par 70. Tied for fourth are Jared Jones (71-76) of Kenova, W.Va., and Chris Wilson (74-73) of Dublin, Ohio, who trail Cimarolli and Curran by three strokes at 147.

Sitting atop the Girls Division for the second consecutive day, Granada came close to giving up a four-shot lead after starting off the day with a four-putt on No. 1.

"I just told myself to start over with hole No. 2," the 15-year-old Granada said. "I didn't play my best today and I just tried to hang in there."

Granada carded two bogeys, a double bogey and chipped in for birdie on No. 15. No stranger to competition, Granada has demonstrated why she was a top girls junior golfer in her native country of Paraguay.

"I just try to concentrate on my shots," Granada said. "I try not to put any pressure on myself. I try to play my own game and not think about the competition. "

Mandy Goins (77-72) of Frankfort, Ky., stands alone in second at 149 and trails Granada by one stroke. Jenny Suh (78-76) of Fairfax, Va., rounds out the top three with a 154.

Final-round action begins Thursday, August 8 with tee times running between 7:30 a.m. - 12:18 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at the Elks Run Golf Club.

For more information on the AJGA Kroger Junior Invitational, please contact tournament headquarters at (513) 735-6600, ext. 12.

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