SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., NATIVES FRANCIS, CHOE RETAIN LEAD AT HEATHER FARR CLASSIC
Girls Division leaderboard tightens after second round at Longbow Golf Club
MESA, Ariz. — Perfect weather conditions allowed Philip Francis and Esther Choe, both of Scottsdale, Ariz., to maintain their leads after the second round of the Heather Farr Classic Saturday. Francis retains his commanding four-shot lead recording a 1-under-par 70 for a total of 7-under-par 65-70—135, while Choe carded an even-par 71 to retain a slim one-shot lead in the Girls Division with a two-round total of 4-under-par 138.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Heather Farr Classic is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. An Easter Weekend tradition, the Heather Farr Classic is being staged in the Phoenix-area for the eighth consecutive year. One-hundred thirty-two junior golfers (ages 12-18) from 17 states, Canada and Mexico are competing in the tournament. The field includes 25 Rolex Junior All-Americans and boasts past champions such as Paula Creamer, Amanda Blumenherst and Hunter Mahan.
Two-time Rolex Junior All-American Francis notched four birdies and an eagle to secure his place atop the leaderboard.
“I struck the ball well today and made an eagle on No. 6 which helped,” Francis said. “I hit my driver well. I just need to limit my mistakes Sunday.”
Valley-area native Francis is still seeking his first AJGA victory after finishing runner-up at four events prior to this weekend.
“I've finished in the top five I don't know how many times,” said Francis, who finished runner-up at last week's AJGA Craig Ranch Junior. “I bogeyed two of the last three holes last weekend (to finish second) and a win here would be nice.”
Luke Symons of Lone Tree, Colo., remains in second after rounds 69-70 for a two-round total of 3-under-par 139. Tied for third at 2-under-par 140 are Connor Driscoll of Encinitas, Calif., at 70-71—140 and Jamie Lovemark of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., at 71-69—140. Rounding out the top five are Bo DeHuff of Coto de Caza, Calif., at 71-70—141 and David Hahn of Henderson, Nev., at 72-69—141.
First-team Rolex Junior All-American Choe retains her top position in the Girls Division, although she reduced her lead by three strokes.
“I couldn't get anything going today—71 is fine for how I played,” Choe said. “I was on the fringe a lot and putting to save par most of the time.”
Choe carded two birdies and two bogeys on the day, securing par on every other hole. She is looking for her first win of the 2006 season at Longbow Golf Club and is looking to stay consistent.
“I want to keep doing the same thing I have been doing all weekend, just keep hitting fairways and greens,” Choe said. “I just want to continue to have fun out there (on the course).”
Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., closed the gap on Choe after recording five birdies Saturday to come in at 3-under-par for the tournament at 71-68—139. Kristen Schelling of Mesa, Ariz., is looking for her first career victory in her hometown after carding consecutive even-par 71s for a tournament total of 142.
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 an annual 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, which is in its third decade of support, 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 compiles more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
Final-round tee times for the Heather Farr Classic begin at 7 a.m. Sunday off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Longbow Golf Club. A second wave of tee times will begin at 11:15 a.m. For more information on the Heather Farr Classic, please contact tournament headquarters at (480) 807-5400.