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The Tradition Golf Club at Royal New Kent
Elverson, Pa. • August 22 - 25

Sheary leads Girls Division by three strokes in the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior

ELVERSON, Pa. —  Aaron Hwang of Port Washington, N.Y., is in the lead of the Boys Division after the first round of the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior with a score of 34-35—69. Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn., also carded a 1-under-par 69 in the first round to put her ahead in the Girls Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior is being held at the French Creek Golf Club. Ninety-eight junior golfers from 21 states, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, including 18 from Pennsylvania, are competing in the 54-hole stroke play event.

Hwang, who qualified for the tournament through the Srixon Qualifier Series, said luck was on his side for the first round. He chipped in for birdie on No. 6 and made a 40-foot putt for birdie on No. 7 and a 30-foot putt on No. 10 to save par.

“I think I ate up all the luck,” he said. “I was heading for bogey on No. 6 and ended up with a birdie.”

Hwang said he thought the course was difficult, but also a fun course play. He had five birdies and two chances for eagle. Hwang said although he is ahead by one stroke, he is going to approach the second round as if he was chasing the lead.

“I'm going to think like I'm 10-over and try to go as low as I can,” he said. “Just play smart — I think that's key.”

Alexander Park of Ithaca, N.Y., and David Weisfeld of Scarsdale, N.Y., trail Hwang, tied at 1-under-par 70. Tied for fourth after the first round is Sean Brannan of Hollidaysburg, Pa., Mitchell Fedorka of Upland, Calif., Michael Lee of Corinth, Texas, and David Lipsky of La Canada, Calif., with par-71s.

In the Girls Division, Sheary played the front nine 2-under-par 33, with two birdies on both par-5s, Nos. 4 and 6. Her first, and only, bogey came on the par-4 No. 14 to which she quickly answered with a birdie on No. 15.

“I didn't have any bogeys on the front,” she said. “I had a lot of birdie opportunities.”

Sheary said she was striking the ball with accuracy, allowing her to score low. She ended the round with a birdie on No. 18 leaving her with a 1-over-par 36 on the back nine.

“I was hitting really well today. Everything was on target,” she said. “I was hitting pretty close to the pins, so I had a lot of tap-ins for par — I wasn't scrambling for pars.”

Meredith Kotowski of Marion, Mass., trails Sheary by three-strokes with a 2-over-par 72. Tied in third place after the first round are Mia Kabasakalis of Alameda, Calif., and Andrea Watts of Lone Tree, Colo., with 3-over-par 73s.

The American Junior Golf Association is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.

Second-round tee times will begin Wednesday, August 24, at 7 a.m. The Girls Division will tee off first followed by the Boys Division starting at 8:12 a.m. For more information on the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior, call tournament headquarters at (610) 913-6330 and ask for the AJGA.