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USGA Boys Junior: Gribble, Francis Share Lead at 68

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (July 17, 2006) Fifteen-year-old Cody Gribble of Dallas, Texas, and 2005 quarterfinalist Philip Francis, 17, of Scottsdale, Ariz., each fired a 4-under-par 68 to take a one-stroke lead on the first day of the 2006 U.S. Junior Amateur at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club Monday.

Francis, who won the Rolex Tournament of Champions on July 9 and who advanced to the round of 16 at the 2003 Junior Amateur, posted five birdies against one bogey for a 68 in the afternoon session, which included up-and-down saves for par on his last two holes.

“I just had a real mistake-free round,” Francis said. “If you play well (Monday), it gives you a little confidence going into the week. It doesn’t really mean anything because you are going into match play equally with everybody else. The only difference is your seed. You can never underestimate anyone because you always see the No. 1 seed get beat. Of course, it would be nice to win the stroke play, but I’m just going to go out there (Tuesday) and try to do the same thing.”

Earlier in the day, Gribble, playing in his first USGA championship, registered five birdies in his first nine holes and despite three-putting his first hole for a bogey 5, he finished at 4-under-par 32.

He shot even par on his second nine for a 68 to share the one-stroke advantage over 16-year-old J.D. Archibald of Simi Valley, Calif., and 2005 semifinalist Arnond Vongvanij, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., both of whom shot 3-under-69.

“It’s a huge tournament and I’m glad to have such a good start,” said Gribble, a left-handed high school sophomore, who has a twin sister, Casey. “But, (Tuesday) is a brand new day. It feels good to go in with a 4-under (68) and, so far, have some slack to rest on and play like it’s a nice day in California.”

“It does give me a feeling of a cushion,” Vongvanij said of his solid score. “But I still am going to keep the feeling of hitting fairways and greens and making pars and sneaking in a birdie when I can.”

Five other players players, including 2006 California state high school champion Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, were two strokes back at 2-under-par 70. Fowler birdied four of his last five holes.

Sihwan Kim of Buena Park, Calif., the 2004 champion, was among a group of nine players at 1-under-par 71. He was 3 under through 11 holes but bogeyed his 12th and 13th holes to move to 1-under. Defending champion Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla., posted a 1-over-par 73.

“The wind started blowing and I didn’t get the distance right,” said Kim. “It’s hard to get a good lie and then judge your distance. It’s tough to get up and down in this Bermuda rough.”

“I wasn’t too good,” said Tway, “I hit a lot of bad shots and didn’t do anything very well. I had a lot of putts lip out, probably three or four. I need to work on the speed of my putts.’”

The scores of the local San Diego players were: Tyler Weworski of Carlsbad (73), Tyler Morris of Encinitas (77), and Evan Emerick of San Diego (78).

Six under-par scores were logged in the morning wave while 12 were shot in the afternoon.

Cory Whitsett, 14, of Houston, Texas scored the 10th hole-in-one in the history of the Junior Amateur on the par-3, 144-yard 7th hole with a 6-iron.

Stroke play concludes Tuesday. The low 64 scorers qualify for match play, which begins Wednesday and ends with Saturday’s 36-hole championship final.

The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are solely for amateurs.

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. – Results from Monday’s first round of stroke play at the 2006 U.S. Junior Amateur, conducted by the United States Golf Association, played at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club (6,923 yards, par 72):

Cody Gribble, Dallas, Texas, 32-36--68 Philip Francis, Scottsdale, Ariz., 33-35--68 Arnond Vongvanij, Bradenton, Fla., 37-32--69 John Douglas Archibald, Simi Valley, Calif., 34-35--69 Blake Redmond, Sugar Land, Texas, 33-37--70 Chris Hamm, Fredericksburg, Va., 35-35--70 Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif., 34-36--70 Sean Maekawa, Paauilo, Hawaii, 35-35--70 Wesley Graham, Port Orange, Fla., 37-33--70 Aaron Sherry, Ft Myers, Fla., 37-34--71 Christopher Deforest, Cottekill, N.Y., 37-34--71 Clayton Rotz, Chambersburg, Pa., 34-37--71 Corey Nagy, Charlotte, N.C., 38-33--71 Cory Whitsett, Houston, Texas, 37-34--71 Josh Jones, The Colony, Texas, 35-36--71 Matthew Pierce Jr, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 37-34--71 Sang Yi, Carrollton, Texas, 37-34--71 Sihwan Kim, Buena Park, Calif., 38-33--71 Bo Hoag, Columbus, Ohio, 37-35--72 Chris Johnson, Columbia, Mo., 36-36--72 Drew Kittleson, Scottsdale, Ariz., 37-35--72 Jack Fields, Southern Pines, N.C., 38-34--72 Jean-Philippe Paiement, Canada, 35-37--72 John Hahn, Hudson, Ohio, 38-34--72 Lion An, Alpharetta, Ga., 35-37--72 Morgan Hoffmann, Wyckoff, N.J., 37-35--72 Nick Delio, Valencia, Calif., 37-35--72 Peter Gibbs, Granite Bay, Calif., 36-36--72 Peter Uihlein, Bradenton, Fla., 37-35--72 Scott Pinckney, Anthem, Ariz., 37-35--72 Tanner Briele, New Bern, N.C., 37-35--72 Wesley Bryan, Chapin, S.C., 36-36--72 Andrew Putnam, University Place, Wash., 37-36--73 Bobby Bode, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 38-35--73 Brent Whitehead, Marietta, Ga., 37-36--73 Danny Lee, New Zealand, 38-35--73 Joe David, Madison, Tenn., 36-37--73 Kevin Tway, Edmond, Okla., 38-35--73 Ramsey Sahyoun, Los Angeles, Calif., 36-37--73 Robbie Ziegler, Canby, Ore., 36-37--73 Tyler Weworski, Carlsbad, Calif., 35-38--73 Ajeetesh Sandhu, India, 37-37--74 Chad Day, Raleigh, N.C., 38-36--74 Daniel Stanley, Boiling Springs, S.C., 39-35--74 David Flynn, Elk Grove Village, Ill., 36-38--74 Eric Mina, Fremont, Calif., 35-39--74 Joe Monte, Chantilly, Va., 35-39--74 John Peterson, Fort Worth, Texas, 35-39--74 Julian Suri, St Augustine, Fla., 35-39--74 Matthew Krembel, Shalimar, Fla., 38-36--74 Ravi Patel, Naperville, Ill., 37-37--74 Samuel Chavez, San Mateo, Calif., 38-36--74 Smylie Kaufman, Vestavia, Ala., 36-38--74 Spencer Fletcher, Los Altos, Calif., 39-35--74 Tadd Fujikawa, Honolulu, Hawaii, 34-40--74 Tyler Ichikawa, Los Altos, Calif., 37-37--74 William Cauley, Jacksonville, Fla., 38-36--74 Alex Volpenhein, Edgewood, Ky., 39-36--75 Andrew Loupe, Baton Rouge, La., 39-36--75 Brinson Paolini, Virginia Beach, Va., 36-39--75 Cody Paladino, Kensington, Conn., 37-38--75 Drew Davidson, Canton, Ohio, 40-35--75 Harris English, Thomasville, Ga., 38-37--75 Jordan Smith, Olathe, Kan., 37-38--75 Kent Bulle, Glasgow, Ky., 37-38--75 Klinton Krieger, Cheyenne, Wyo., 37-38--75 Lion Kim, Lake Mary, Fla., 40-35--75 Michael Ballo Jr, Springdale, Conn., 37-38--75 T J Kua, Lihue, Hawaii, 37-38--75 Tommy Chunghao Mou, Chinese Taipei, 38-37--75 Tommy Higham, Shelley, Idaho, 36-39--75 Austin Love, Anderson, Calif., 38-38--76 Brad Schneider, Tampa, Fla., 37-39--76 Darren Wallace, Canada, 37-39--76 Michael Garden, St Albans, Mo., 37-39--76 Steve Ziegler, Broomfield, Colo., 39-37--76 Tyler Graf, Elm Grove, Wis., 35-41--76 Wes Roach, Knoxville, Tenn., 36-40--76 Will Hogan, Ozark, Mo., 38-38--76 William Miller, Venetia, Pa., 36-40--76 Bryan Pierce, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 37-40--77 Chris Olson, Midlothian, Va., 39-38--77 Colton Staggs, Tulsa, Okla., 38-39--77 David Chung, Fayetteville, N.C., 38-39--77 Eric Steger, Noblesville, Ind., 39-38--77 Hunter Howell, Raeford, N.C., 38-39--77 Julien Goulet, Canada, 38-39--77 Matthew Hoffenberg, Simi Valley, Calif., 38-39--77 Michael Jurca, St George, Utah, 37-40--77 Michael Miller, Aledo, Texas, 41-36--77 Michael Soowal, Philadelphia, Pa., 40-37--77 Mike Coatman, Lincoln, Neb., 39-38--77 Richard Lee, Chandler, Ariz., 36-41--77 Robert Galbreath Jr, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., 39-38—77 Tyler Morris, Encinitas, Calif., 38-39--77 Anthony Aloi, Plainsboro, N.J., 42-36--78 Brandon Tomasovich, Greeley, Colo., 39-39--78 Bryan Harris, Rancho Mirage, Calif., 38-40--78 Clark Palmer, Augusta, Ga., 40-38--78 David Sanders, Mount Laurel, N.J., 37-41--78 Evan Emerick, San Diego, Calif., 35-43--78 Francis Santiago, Lynnwood, Wash., 42-36--78 Hyun Seok Lim, Korea, 40-38--78 Jonathan Randolph, Brandon, Miss., 42-36--78 Josh Anderson, Murrieta, Calif., 38-40--78 Lance Collins, Lead, S.D., 37-41--78 Patrick Hanzel, Lincoln, Neb., 39-39--78 Riley Pumphrey, Georgetown, Texas, 40-38--78 Ryan Sirman, Tyler, Texas, 36-42--78 Alan Lee, Chile, 38-41--79 Ben Suarez, Sulphur, La., 39-40--79 Chris Mory, Haslett, Mich., 38-41--79 Daniel Meggs, Charlotte, N.C., 40-39--79 David Gies II, Charlotte, N.C., 40-39--79 Derek Ernst, Clovis, Calif., 40-39--79 Jack Versau II, Coldwater, Mich., 39-40--79 Kenneth Rucker, Eau Claire, Wis., 36-43--79 Mason Jacobs, Metropolis, Ill., 40-39--79 Michael Lee, Corlinth, Texas, 39-40--79 Payne Gniewek, Trenton, Mich., 41-38--79 Peter Williamson, Hanover, N.H., 39-40--79 Tripp McAllister, Lake City, S.C., 40-39--79 Branden Dalton, Fernley, Nev., 37-43--80 Davis Lee, Palisades Park, N.J., 41-39--80 John Kelly, East Longmeadow, Mass., 42-38--80 Kevin Huntington, West Chester, Pa., 41-39-80 Mark Lantz, Indianapolis, Ind., 40-40--80 Max Bichsel, Cranbury, N.J., 43-37--80 Timothy Pawul, East Setauket, N.Y., 41-39--80 Wes Strang, Bethesda, Md., 41-39--80 Cole Fisher, Hot Springs, Ark., 40-41--81 Graham Baillargeon, Canada, 44-37--81 Ian McConnell, Riverview, Fla., 42-39--81 Jack Paton, Hillsborough, Calif., 39-42--81 Jeremiah Wooding, Riverside, Calif., 41-40--81 Kent Crymes, Athens, Ga., 40-41--81 Matthew McKown, Van Buren, Ark., 41-40--81 Max Buckley, Rye, N.Y., 40-41--81 Ross Mizell, The Woodlands, Texas, 39-42--81 Ben Freeman, Fargo, N.D., 40-42--82 Brian Wynia, Sioux Falls, S.D., 40-42—82 Erich Johnston, Fort Wayne, Ind., 42-40--82 Isaac Idstein, Canyon Lake, Texas, 39-43--82 Johnny Delprete, Palm City, Fla., 42-40--82 Nick Johnson, Kansas City, Mo., 44-38--82 Niko Bain, Glendale, Ariz., 41-41--82 Dustin Zhang, Canada, 43-40--83 Nick Helser, Lancaster, Ohio, 39-44--83 Scott Juhl, Springfield, Va., 40-43--83 Aaron Gauldin, Camp Point, Ill., 39-45--84 Davis Mullany, Gt Barrington, Mass., 41-43--84 Oscar Neubauer, Bethlehem, Pa., 41-43--84 James Ionna, Middletown, Ohio, 41-45--86 Michael Kinkopf, Columbus, Ohio, 41-45--86 Joseph Perkins, Royal City, Wash., 47-43--90 A.J. Olson, White Bear Lake, Minn., 43-49--92

ABOUT THE U.S. Junior Amateur

While it is not the oldest competition, the U.S. Junior Amateur is considered the premier junior competition, having been around since 1948. The event is open to male golfers who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 6.4. The U.S. Junior is one of 13 national championship conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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