AJGA PRESEASON JUNIOR AT LAS CRUCES
Picacho Hills Country Club
Las Cruces, N.M.
April 12-14, 2002


BOONE HOLDS ON TO TAKE MEDALIST HONORS IN LAS CRUCES
Final-round 74 clinches title for El Paso native

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Kevan Boone of El Paso, Texas, carded a final-round 74 Sunday to win the inaugural AJGA Preseason Junior at Las Cruces. Moises Cobo of Seville, Spain, and Brian Meck of Austin, Texas, shared second place just one shot behind Boone.

The 36-hole event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at par-72 Picacho Hills Country Club, featured 84 boys (ages 13-18) from 21 states and Spain. Six New Mexico natives competed in the event, including three players from Las Cruces.

The AJGA's Preseason Junior Series was created three years ago to give more juniors a chance to gain national exposure. The Las Cruces event was the second of four preseason events the AJGA will conduct in 2002. The top-15 finishers each walked away with at least one automatic entry into an AJGA event this summer.

With the victory, the 17-year-old Boone (72-74-146) earned three automatic entries for AJGA events this summer. He opened his final round with a solid 1-under 35 on the front before posting a 39 on the back side.

"On the front nine I hit my irons better than I did yesterday," said Boone, who had a pair of birdies on the opening nine. "I bogeyed the first hole but after that I hit it perfectly for the rest of the nine."

Boone started the back nine with three straight pars before running into trouble on the par-5 13th hole in the form of a double-bogey. The double, paired with a Cobo birdie, reduced Boone's lead over the Spaniard from five shots down to two. Boone still thought he had a comfortable lead until they approached the 18th tee.

"I didn't know Moises was that close to me until I asked where he stood on 18," said Boone, who sealed the victory with a five-foot knee-knocker for par on the final green."I was in some heavy rough off the tee and just tried to get it on the green and two-putt. I just didn't want to go out with a three-putt."

Cobo (74-73-147) just missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole that would have earned him co-medalist honors. Meanwhile, two groups ahead of the leaders, Meck (77-70-147) was putting together the low round of the tournament. He made four birdies, including three in a row during one stretch on the back nine.

Ryan Blackburn (78-72-150) of Augusta, Ga., took fourth while Kyle Maze (76-76-152) of Round Rock, Texas, Tom Glissmeyer (77-75-152) of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Jared Hoffman (75-77-152) of Phoenix tied for fifth.

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