NIKE GOLF JUNIOR AT DIABLO GRANDE
Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club - Ranch Course
Diablo Grande, Calif. • July 24 - 27
 

ITTERMAN, SMITH SIT TIED IN LEADER SPOT WITH MATCHING 1-UNDER-PAR 143s
Kim leads Girls Division by three strokes with a 144 tournament total

DIABLO GRANDE, Calif. — Ben Itterman of Carlsbad, Calif., and Sam Smith of Turlock, Calif., are tied for the lead after the second round, carding 1-under-par 143 tournament totals. Joy Kim of Pinole, Calif., shot the only sub-par round Wednesday and took the Girls Division lead after she posted a 2-under-par 69 and two-day tournament total of 144.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Diablo Grande is being played at the Diablo Grande — Ranch Course. Sixty-eight boys and 22 girls, ages 12 — 15, are competing on the par-72 layout (par 71 for girls). Thirteen states and three countries are represented this week, including players from South Korea and China, with most juniors from California.

The Nike Golf Junior at Diablo Grande is part of the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series. The Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 - 15 years old. The Series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, Sept. 1 - 3, 2006.

Itterman fired a 3-under-par 69 for the day and leads the Boys Division by one stroke going into the final round. The rising freshman felt he made several improvements from the first round, besting his score by five strokes.

“I made a lot more putts and hit a lot of good iron shots,” he said. “I gave myself a lot of chances for birdie.”

Fourteen-year-old Itterman hit 14 greens for the round and made five birdies in the process. Unlike many other players, Itterman is a fan of the hot weather and prefers desert courses. However, he keeps the same goal at each tournament he plays.

“I try to shoot three days of consistent scores,” he said. “I kind of like challenging courses because I think I focus better, and I don't make very many mistakes because I play a lot safer.”

After playing in four other AJGA tournaments and finishing top-10 and top-20, Smith's goal for the Nike Golf Junior at Diablo Grande was to finish in the top-5. As a local player, the rising sophomore was prepared for the tournament because he is familiar with the course.

“I play this course all the time and I know it,” he said. “You've got to keep it in the fairway and that's helped me the most.”

Smith had a consistent round, chipping well and countering his two bogeys with three birdies. Having played other tournaments on the Diablo Grande — Ranch Course, Smith said it would be nice to leave his mark on the course.

“Winning an AJGA (event) is big and it would make me more confident going into (future) tournaments,” he said.

In the Boys Division, Anton Arboleda of La Canada, Calif., Boris Stantchev of Long Beach, Calif., and Brendan Doyle of Beverly Hills, Calif., all sit in third place with 144 tournament totals.

Kim drained four birdies en route to shooting a 3-under-par 32 on the back nine. She made consecutive birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 and again on Nos. 17 and 18.

“I feel confident with my swing, and I'm taking this confidence into tomorrow,” Kim said.

Kim said nerves could be a factor during her round tomorrow, but the 15-year-old thinks that nervousness is something that can be controlled.

“There are a lot of good players out here, and I don't want to compare myself to them,” Kim said. “I'm just trying to shoot my own score tomorrow.”

First-round co-leader Angela Villela of Pacoima, Calif., is in second place after shooting a 3-over-par 74 for a two-day total of 147. Ahnna Kim of Irvine, Calif., sits in third with a 150 tournament total.

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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 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.

The final round of the Nike Golf Junior at Diablo Grande begins at 7 a.m. Thursday at Diablo Grande — Ranch Course. For more information on the Nike Golf Junior at Diablo Grande, contact tournament headquarters at (209) 892-4136.

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Weekly Results
EaglesDream Golf Academy Junior Open
Boys
Total
1
*Austin Hitt
210
2
Zhengkai Bai
210
3
Zachary Bariso
211
Girls
Total
1
Latanna Stone
219
2
Emma Albrecht
220
3
Lei Ye
222
Under Armour® / Scott Stallings Championship
Boys
Total
1
Goodman Rudolph
205
2
Ryan Hall
206
3
Brayden Garrison
207
Girls
Total
1
Olivia Cason
207
2
Amanda Doherty
208
3
Abigail Heck
212
Lockton Kansas City Junior
Boys
Total
1
Andy Spencer
202
2
Reese Ramsey
207
3
Brian Choe
209
Girls
Total
1
Pajaree Anannarukarn
208
T
2
Mia Ayer
220
T
2
Alexa Tsay
220
The Yang Foundation Junior at Wood Ranch
Boys
Total
1
Sean Yi
209
2
Brandon Brame
210
3
Seldon Doyle
212
Girls
Total
1
Kailie Vongsaga
215
2
Brittany Park
216
3
Ziyi Wang
217
AJGA Philadelphia Junior presented by Golf Performance Center
Boys
Total
1
Christian Cavaliere
216
2
Brent Ito
218
3
Alex Zhu
219
Girls
Total
1
Holly McCann
220
T
2
Brynn Walker
221
T
2
Jackie Rogowicz
221
* Won via sudden-death playoff
FJ Live Scoring
AJGA U
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.