MAIN CARDS 9-UNDER-PAR TOTAL TO EARN TOP SEED AT
POLO GOLF JUNIOR CLASSIC
REUNION, Fla. — Gregor Main of Danville, Calif., recorded the second-lowest stroke play qualifying score ever and earned medalist honors with a 9-under-par 135 after Tuesday's second round at the Polo Golf Junior Classic. In the Girls Division, Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, Calif., and Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, tied for the top spot with 4-under-par 140 totals. Main and Hurst will take the No. 1 seeds into Wednesday's first round of match play at Ginn Reunion Resort's Legacy (Palmer) and Independence (Watson) courses.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been conducted annually since 1978, marks the first tournament of the American Junior Golf Association's 2008 season. The 160-player invitation-only field is made up of boys and girls ages 12-18 from 29 states and 11 foreign countries. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).
Main earned the top seed in match play after posting the second best qualifying score in the event's 30-year history, bested only by James Vargas' 66-63-129 total in 2001. Main carded 11 birdies and an eagle during the first two rounds en route to a 68-67-135 total, and said he's still riding the confidence from winning last month's PING Invitational.
“I came off a pretty big win at PING and that gave me a lot of confidence,” Main said. “Coming into this week, my goal was to make the cut and get into match play because last year I missed it, but being medalist is great.”
A two-time Rolex Junior All-American, Main has won two of his last three AJGA starts and will enter match play with his experience as a member of the 2006 Canon Cup West Team.
“Match play is a little different because you've got an opponent there,” Main said. “You kind of have to play your opponent, but you also have to stick to your game plan and stick to your notes.”
Bud Cauley of Jacksonville, Fla., finished second at 7-under-par 68-69-137, while Alex Kang of Oak Park, Calif., and Luke Guthrie of Quincy, Ill., tied for third at 6-under-par 138. First-round co-leader Cory Whitsett of Houston finished fifth at 5-under-par 66-73-139.
In the Girls Division, three players tied atop the leaderboard, including Hurst, the 2007 Rolex Junior Player of the Year. After opening with an even-par 72 Monday, Hurst carded six birdies to rebound with a second-round 68 en route to co-medalist honors.
“I've played the front of these courses almost 20 times, so I feel really comfortable up here,” said Hurst, who played in the LPGA's Ginn Open in April, which is also held at the Ginn Reunion Resort. “I made six birdies today, but I three-putted two holes also. For tomorrow, I need to work on making those putts drop.”
Frasier and Kim, friends since 11 years old, played the first two rounds with each other and both said the other provided a calming influence. Frasier carded rounds of 69-71 — 140 and earned the No. 2 seed, while Kim will be the No. 3 seed after rounds of 67-73 — 140.
“We had a lot of fun out there,” Frasier said. “We kept each other loose and just had a good time.”
As the No. 2 player in the Polo Golf Rankings, Kim said she achieved her first goal by qualifying for match play. She said she was nervous during the first round, but after she opened with a 5-under-par 67, Kim said she was more at ease during Tuesday's round.
“It doesn't really matter what seed you are because even if you're in the lower bracket there are really good players,” Kim said.
Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, used a second-round 67 to propel herself into a four-way tie for fourth at 1-under-par 143. Kyndall Ardoin of Gibsland, La., Lindy Duncan of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Sue Kim of Langley, British Columbia, also tied for fourth at 1-under-par.
Morning match play tee times will begin Wednesday at 7:30 a.m., while afternoon matches will begin around 12:30 p.m. The Girls Division will play its first round match on the Legacy (Palmer) Course, while all other Girls and Boys Division matches will be held on the Independence (Watson) Course.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 40 years, Polo's reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company's brand names, which include "Polo by Ralph Lauren," "Ralph Lauren Purple Label," "Ralph Lauren," "Black Label," "Blue Label," "Lauren by Ralph Lauren," "Polo Jeans Co.," "RRL," "RLX," "Rugby," "RL Childrenswear," "Chaps," and "Club Monaco" among others, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer brands. For more information, go to http://investor.polo.com.
For more information about the Polo Golf Junior Classic, please contact Tournament Director Andrew Greenfield at (770) 601-8922.