The Homestead Resort, Lower Cascades Course
Hot Springs, Virginia
July 29 - August 1, 2002

Smith tops Girls Division

HOT SPRINGS, Va. - Jared Jones of Kenova, W.Va., posted an even-par round of 72 Thursday to cruise to victory at the AJGA ClubCorp Junior Players Championship, held at The Homestead Resort's par-72 Lower Cascades Course. Rachel Smith of Powell, Tenn., also carded even-par 72 to capture the title in the Girls Division.

The ClubCorp Junior Players Championship was conducted by the American Junior Golf Association and featured 120 boys and girls from 27 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-one participants hailed from the state of Virginia.

Jones, who was tied for the lead entering the final round, began the day with a birdie on the par-4, 347-yard first. He bogeyed three of the next seven holes and then birdied No. 8 to finish the front nine at 1-over-par. One birdie on the back nine completed a final round of 37-35-72.

"Fifteen was probably my best birdie hole today," Jones said. "I was in the bunker on my second shot, but then hit out of that to within three feet. That was a clutch putt for me."

Jones, 17, was playing in just his third AJGA tournament. Earlier this summer, Jones notched a second-place finish at the AJGA Henry-Griffitts Bluegrass Junior Invitational.

"I just tried to stay positive going into today," Jones said. "I didn't start off as well as I would have liked and I had a couple of bogeys that I shouldn't have had, but I am definitely happy with the way the tournament ended."

Chris Barron (71-76-69-216) of Ashland City, Tenn., and Robert Riesen (76-71-69-216) of Pinehurst, N.C., finished the tournament in a tie for second place. Curtis Centracchio of Westfield, Mass., and Greg Carlin of Kensington, Md., rounded out the top-five tied for fourth at 1-over-par 217. Centracchio carded the low round of the day with a 32-35-67.

In the Girls Division, Smith, 17, was four strokes behind the leader to start the day. A final round of 37-35-72, however, vaulted her into the lead, en route to her first AJGA victory in four starts.

"I came into this tournament hoping to place in the top three," Smith said. "Right now, I'm just shocked, but I'm very excited for this win and for the chance to attend the Polo Golf Junior Classic."

A 45-foot putt for birdie on the par-5, 479-yard second was one of Smith's four birdies on the day.

"That putt just barely fell in," Smith said. "It really helped my confidence when two of the four bogeys I had today were followed by birdies."

C.J. Kim of Diamond Bar, Calif., carded 75-75-76-226 to end the tournament in sole possession of second place. Defending champion Whitney Myers of East Berlin, Pa., claimed third place with rounds of 76-79-74-229.

For more information on the AJGA ClubCorp Junior Players Championship, contact AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.


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