The Desert Mountain Club, Geronimo Course
Scottsdale, Arizona
July 7-12, 2002

Blasberg shoots low round in Girls Division to grab lead

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Randy Lowry of Spring, Texas, recovered from a rough start to shoot a 1-under-par 71 in the third round of the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions, holding onto his lead in the Boys Division. Erica Blasberg of Corona, Calif., fired a 3-under-par 69 to surge into the Girls Division lead.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 25th annual Rolex Tournament of Champions is being held on the par-72 Geronimo course at The Desert Mountain Club. The 72-hole event features 169 players - 109 boys and 60 girls - from 30 states and five foreign countries, and includes 57 Polo Golf Junior All-Americans. Past champions include Charles Howell III, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, Kellee Booth and Grace Park.

On the second hole of the round, Lowry had two bad shots and fought his way out of the desert to card a quadruple-bogey. The 15-year-old, however, pulled his game together and landed a birdie on No. 3.

"Let's just say that I got off to a shaky start," Lowry said. "I just tried to put it behind me and keep going. I came back with a birdie on the next hole."

Lowry went on to birdie holes No. 6, 9, 12, 14 and 15, and only dropped one bogey during the round, tallying a three-day total of 69-65-71-205.

"I hit fairways and greens today, I wasn't thinking about the lead at all," he said. "Tomorrow I'm going to do the same thing that I did today."

Chris Kirk of Woodstock, Ga., James Vargas of Miami, Fla., and Taylor Wood of Laguna Niguel, Calif., are tied for second place with three-day totals of 209.

Kirk, tied for fifth headed into the third round, opened up with birdies on Nos. 1 and 3 and added three more birdies and two bogeys to finish the round at 3-under-par 69. Despite starting off with three consecutive bogeys on Nos. 2-4 and a triple-bogey on No. 10, Vargas nailed four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16 to score a 2-over-par 74 for the round and stay in the Boys Division top five.

Kevin Kisner of Aiken, S.C., is in fifth place, shooting a 1-over-par 73 for a three-day total of 210.

Blasberg, who entered the day two shots off the pace, grabbed a share of the lead early with birdies on her first two holes to tie first-round leader Brittany Lincicome of Seminole, Fla. Blasberg added another birdie on No. 7 to help her make the turn at 1-under-par.

"My driver wasn't as strong today, but I kept myself out of trouble," Blasberg said. "I made some putts out there that were pretty key putts."

They 17-year-old had little trouble on the back nine, capping off a string of three straight birdies by draining an 8-footer on No. 16 to begin to pull away from the pack.

"I felt pretty comfortable at that point," said Blasberg, who has signed with the University of Arizona. "This tournament has meant a lot to me because it's my last AJGA event. It would be great to start my college career by ending my junior career with a win."

Blasberg holds a three-shot lead over Lincicome, who shot a 74 to sit at 1-over-par 217 for the tournament. Amanda Blumenherst rounds out the Girls Division top three at 220 after posting a 2-over-par 74.

Final-round action begins Friday at 7 a.m. off the No. 1 and 10 tees of the Geronimo course.

For more information about the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions, please call AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (480) 488-1362 ext. 1028


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