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Mission Hills Country Club - Palmer Course
Rancho Mirage, Calif. • June 23 - 26

Kim takes Girls Division lead by one stroke

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Steven Kearney of Carlsbad, Calif., maintained his spot tied atop the leaderboard with a two-day 5-under-par 139 total, but a new co-leader emerged from the field at the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior Wednesday. Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos, Calif., shot a 5-under-par 67 in the second round for a 5-under-par 139 two-day total. Stacy Kim of Yorba Linda, Calif., currently leads the Girls Division at even-par 144.

The ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior is a 54-hole stroke play tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Mission Hills Country Club — Dinah Shore Tournament Course. The tournament field consists of 57 boys and 20 girls, ages 12-18, from five states, including 70 from California. The Girls Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,141 yards while the Boys Division is playing at 7,036 yards.

Cantlay's round was highlighted by an eagle on No. 2—a par-5 in which he holed it from 85 yards. He is ability to build off the eagle into a solid overall round was attributed, in part, to his change in focus from Monday.

“I was a couple under yesterday and started looking around,” Cantlay said. “Today, I just tried to stay in the moment.”

Kearney, meanwhile, shot a round he felt was much similar to Monday's. Despite sticking it two feet from the pin on No. 12 and a particular three-putt, he felt his round was somewhat uneventful.

“It was a pretty boring round,” Kearney said. “I missed a 2 1/2 foot-putt on No. 3 and three-putted the hole.”

Rounding out the top five for the Boys Division are Daniel Lee of Valencia, Calif., in third with a 3-under-par 141, Mason Field of Santa Barbara, Calif., in fourth with a 2-under-par 142. Benjamin Bauch of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Alex Shi Yup Kim of Fullerton, Calif., and Andrew Perez of Oxnard, Calif., are all tied for fifth with even-par 144s.

In the Girls Division, Kim's ability to hit greens consistently carried her up the leaderboard and eventually into the lead.

“I only missed one green the entire round,” Kim said. “I only had one bogey, and it was on a two-foot putt.”

Veronica Valerio of Temecula, Calif., is in second with a 1-over-par 145, and Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., sits at third with a 2-over-par 146.

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.

Third-round tee times for the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior will run from 6:30 — 8:18 a.m. Thursday off Nos. 1 and 10 tees at Mission Hills Country Club. For more information on the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 571-7994.