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Aspen Golf Club
Aspen, Colo. • June 11 - 14

Thomas leads Girls Division at 5-over-par 77

ASPEN, Colo. — After the first round of the American Junior Golf Association's Junior All-Star at Aspen, Santiago Gavino of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, leads the Boys Division by carding a 1-under-par 70, despite unseasonably cold and rainy conditions. Chessy Thomas of Spokane, Wash., leads the Girls Division with a 5-over-par 77.

Conducted by the AJGA, the Junior All-Star at Aspen is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Aspen Golf Club. The Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls age 12 - 15 years old. The competition provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into open tournaments. The 90-player field features players from 25 states, Mexico, British Columbia and Taiwan. The course played as a 6,753-yard par 71for the Boys Division and a 5,893-yard par 72 in the Girls Division.

With an even-par 35 on the front nine Gavino, 15, said he saw all of his practice pay off in his short game on the back nine. Following his birdie on No. 13, Gavino birdied Nos. 15 and 17 to finish with a 1-under-par 35 on the back nine.

“I've really been working on my chipping,” Gavino said. “It helped a lot.”

Gavino said he wants to keep focused and do the best he can for Wednesday's second round.

Currently in second place is Patrick Grimes of Palo Alto, Calif., carding an even-par 71. Jeffrey Wibawa of Encino, Calif., and Joshua Granger of Monrovia, Calif., are tied for third with 1-over-par 72s. James Tallent of Haverford Penn., Michael Schoolcraft of Englewood, Colo., and Chris Capo of Woodland Hills, Calif., all tied for fifth each carding 2-over-par 73s.

In the Girls Division, Thomas,15, said leaving herself in good position off the tee was the best part of her game.

“I hit a lot of fairways that led to good opportunities to hit lots of greens,” Thomas said.

After a double bogey on No. 7, Thomas birdied No. 9, which she said gave her momentum to get through the back nine.

In second place in the Girls Division is Casey Grice of College Station, Texas, carding a 6-over-par 78, while Valentina Fontaine of Hilton Head, S.C., carded a 7-over-par 79 for third place.

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 49 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 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.

For more information about the Junior All-Star at Aspen, please contact tournament headquarters at (970) 920-9453.