MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Twenty to 25 mile per hour winds greeted one of the world’ top amateur fields at Miami Beach and Normandy Shores Golf Clubs today during the opening round of the South Beach International Amateur. Three of the world’s top junior amateurs made quite an impression on day one.
The 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, La. fired a 3-under par 68 at Miami Beach Golf Club to earn a tie for the lead with Andy Zhang. Florida commit Zhang, from Beijing, China, carded a 67 at Normandy Shores Golf Club.
Barbaree and Zhang have a one stroke lead over Florida’s Joshua Lee of Fleming Island, Fla., Wake Forest’s Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas, Louisville grad Trevor Sluman of Rochester, N.Y., and Jacobo Vecchi-Fossa of Rome, Italy. Lee, Sluman, and Zalatoris shot 68 at Normandy Shores to come in at 2-under while Vecchi-Fossa shot 69 at Miami Beach.
Cole Hammer, Richard Mansell, and Michael Cotton are tied for seventh at 1-under par with seven players. Hammer of Houston, Texas shot 69 at Normandy Shores. Hammer was the third youngest amateur — at 15 years, 9 months, and 21 days — to play in the U.S. open this last summer.
Star junior golfer Barbaree has committed to LSU for his college golf and Hammer has an early commitment to Texas.
Berry University’s Richard Mansell of Staffordshire, England, Florida’s Gordon Neale of Dove Canyon, Calif., and Jorge Garcia of Annaco, Venezuela, also fired 69s at Normandy Shores to tie Hammer. UNC-Wilmington’s Thomas Eldridge of Raleigh, N.C. and North Texas player Michael Cotton of Katy, Texas are also tied for seventh after shooting a 1-under par 70 at Miami Beach.
The field of 210 players includes 80 “Top 600” players and 14 “Top 100” ranked players in the world. One Hundred and two international players from 30 countries are in the field making the SBIA the second largest international tournament in the world, only to be exceeded by the British Amateur.
Round two starts at 7:30 tomorrow morning at both courses and admission is free.