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Grand National Golf Course - Lake Course
Opelika, Ala. • April 14 - 16

Katahira leads the Girls Division by three strokes after the first round

OPELIKA, Ala. — Jeffery Osborne of Dallas and Matthew Krembel of Shalimar, Fla., shot first-round 74s to capture the lead in the Boys Division at the Medicus Preseason Junior at RTJ Grand National. Mitsuki Katahira of Hilton Head Island, S.C., leads the Girls Division after a very strong first-round 73.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Medicus Preseason Junior at RTJ Grand National is being held at RTJ Grand National Golf Course in Opelika, Ala. Part of the Medicus Preseason/Postseason Junior Series, the tournament is a 36-hole stroke play event and consists of 48 boys and 36 girls, ages 12-18, from 21 states and Canada. The par-72 golf course is playing 6,869 yards for the boys and 5,817 yards for the girls.

Krembel's 2-over-par round featured an eagle on No. 4 and a birdie on No. 5.

“I had a good front, aside from a bogey on No. 3,” Krembel said. “I feel confident going into the final round and feel that there is a lower score out there for me.”

Osborne was able to overcome two double bogeys with two birdies on the front and back nines to also shoot 2-over-par.

“My short game was by far the strongest part of my game and I was getting up and down from everywhere,” Osborne said. “Tomorrow I am looking to hit the fairways. If you hit the fairways, this course is very rewarding.”

Brandon Hystad of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Chris Burke of Jacksonville, Fla., are tied in third-place with first-round 77s. Bryce McCarthy of Fort Worth, Texas, Alex Moen of Wheaton, Ill., Shay Womack, Jr. of Marietta, Ga., Daniel Chian of Covina, Calif., and Ryan Nero of Virginia Beach, Va., are tied in fifth place with first-round 78s.

In the Girls Division, Katahira began with a birdie on No. 1, a par on No. 2, a double-bogey on No. 5, and proceeded to play the following 15 holes at even par.

“I feel good about how I played today. My short game was on target and I hit 15 greens in regulation and only missed two fairways,” Katahira said. “I feel confident and I am prepared to do well in the final round.”

Jessy Tang of Orlando, Fla., is in second place with a first-round 75 and Abby Oberthier of Montgomery, Texas, is in third place with a first-round 76.

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.

The Medicus Preseason/Postseason Series is designed for new AJGA members or members who have yet to play in an AJGA event. The series provides an opportunity for members to gain status in Performance Based Entry, which in turn will increase their ability to play in future AJGA events.

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 begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday off Nos. 1 and 10 tees at RTJ Grand National Golf Course - Lake Course. For more information on the Medicus Preseason Junior at RTJ Grand National, please contact tournament headquarters at (334) 737-3346.