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

Curran edges Cimarolli down the stretch to claim Boys Division crown

BATAVIA, Ohio - Julieta Granada of Bradenton, Fla., fired an even-par 71 Thursday at the AJGA Kroger Junior Invitational to hang on for a wire-to-wire victory and her first AJGA title. In the Boys Division, Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass., posted a 2-over-par 73 to claim his first AJGA title.

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

Granada, who entered the day with a one-shot lead over Mandy Goins of Frankfort, Ky., opened the day with a bogey-free 1-under-par 35 on the front nine thanks to a birdie on the 331-yard, par-4 seventh. The Polo Golf Junior All-American extended her lead to three after No. 16, but Granada found a green-side bunker on No. 17 to cause her first bogey of the day and cut her lead to two heading into the final hole.

"I was playing well today, but so was Mandy," the 15-year-old Granada said. "I never had a big lead, but I was able to maintain my lead all day."

Granada found herself in the bunker again on No. 18, but was able to make her biggest save of the tournament to par the hole and lock up her first career AJGA victory and first win since the 2001 Cleveland Golf/Joe Durant Southern Junior.

"It feels great to win," Granada said. "But it feels different than any other tournament I've won. It's more special. It's hard to win these tournaments. Any tournament you go to it's going to be hard to win because the competition is so good."

Goins finished alone in second at 221 after posting her second-consecutive 72. Jenny Suh of Fairfax, Va., finished in third place at 227 after ending with a final-round 73.

Curran, who entered the day tied for the Boys Division lead with Mark Cimarolli of Pittsburgh, Pa., got off to a solid start draining a 20-footer for birdie on No. 2, and adding back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 to make the turn at 1-under-par. Cimarolli hung right with him with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 to also make the turn at 1-under.

"He was hitting a lot of good shots, and I was hitting a lot of good shots," the 15-year-old Curran said. "The front nine was the key, to get off to a good start. It's what I did all three days. I wanted to build enough of a cushion on the front that I wouldn't have to worry about the back."

Cimarolli cut the lead to one after a birdie on No. 16 and a Curran bogey, but that was as close as he got as Curran held on for the two-shot victory.

"It's a good feeling," Curran said. "Especially under these conditions with a tough field and a good, tough course."

Cimarolli finished in a tie for second at 219 with James Sacheck of Zionsville, Ind., who fired the low round of the tournament with a 3-under-par 68. Ryan Lenahan of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., Cole Isban of South Bend, Ind., and Chris Wilson of Dublin, Ohio, tied for fourth at 221.

For more information on the AJGA Kroger Junior Invitational, please contact AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.

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