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Vandenberg AFB, Calif. • March 27 - 29

Shin leads Girls Division at Golf World Preseason Junior at Marshallia Ranch

VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. — Chris Blystone of Santa Maria, Calif., leads the Boys Division at 2-under-par 70 after the first round of the Golf World Preseason Junior at Marshallia Ranch. Sharon Shin of West Linn, Ore., leads the Girls Division at even-par 72.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Golf World Preseason Junior at Marshallia Ranch features a field of 96 boys and girls, ages 12-18, from seven states and Canada. The 36-hole stroke play event is being played at the par-72 Marshallia Ranch Golf Course, which is hosting an AJGA event for the eighth consecutive year. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,771 yards while the Girls Division is playing it at 6,071 yards.

The Golf World Preseason Junior at Marshallia Ranch is one of eight events being held as part of the Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series. The Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.

Playing in his first AJGA event, Blystone, 17, knew he had to hit the fairways just right for a chance to be near the top of the leaderboard. He carded four birdies and also sunk a putt on No. 12, a par-5, for an eagle, putting him on top in the Boys Division after the first round.

“I've been trying to play a lot more consistently out there,” Blystone said. “Making that eagle today on No. 12 got me going and I hope to play solid tomorrow.”

Allan Jun of Oceanside, Calif., carded a 1-over-par 73 for second place. Jay Hwang and Xander Schauffele of San Diego, Calif., finished the round at 2-over-par 74. Tied for fifth are Brandon Hortt of San Diego, Calif., Jack Kelly of North Bend, Wash., Daniel Frantz of Red Bluff, Calif., Aaron Bronis of Livermore, Calif., Matt Duralde of San Clemente, Calif., and Christopher Macasaet of Rancho Murieta, Calif., with 3-over-par 75s.

After a 14 hour drive from Oregon, Shin, 16, was determined to make an impression at her first AJGA event. After shooting 2-over-par on the front nine, Shin carded three birdies on the back to finish strong and take a one-stroke lead.

“I struggled a little bit last year so it was good to shoot a good round today,” Shin said. “My shots were a lot better and some of my birdie putts went in.”

Sunshine Baraquiel of Chatsworth, Calif., came in second at 1-over-par 73. Rounding out the top three for a tie in the Girls Division was Hannah Suh of San Jose, Calif., and Mikayla Harmon of Gilbert, Ariz., who carded 2-over-par 74.

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.

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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.

Golf Academy of America, with campuses located in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando and Myrtle Beach, is the oldest and largest two-year golf career college in the world. GAA's 16-month program balances classroom studies, practical experience and comprehensive understanding of the business of golf. For more information, call 800-342-7342 or visit http://www.golfacademy.edu.

The final round will be an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start Sunday, March 29. For more information on the Golf World Preseason Junior at Marshallia Ranch, please contact Tournament Director Andrew Greenfield at (770) 601-8922.