(San Diego Golf Report photo)
Industry, Calif. (October 15, 2016) -- The opening round of the second annual Southern California Junior Amateur came to a close Saturday after an all-day affair.
Low scores were hard to come by as the field of 104 boys and 74 girls scattered the 36-hole complex, competing on the Ike and Babe courses, respectively.
In the boys division, Steve Sugimoto blew away the field in round one. The San Diego native seemed to be playing a different course than the rest of the competition, firing a 5-under 66 with four birdies and an eagle to sit atop the leaderboard by five strokes.
“My ball striking was just average,” said Sugimoto. “But my wedge play was terrific and I rolled in a bunch of putts.”
Heading into the final round, Sugimoto is looking to stay in the groove.
“I want to go out and be smart. Just play my game,” said Sugimoto. “I didn’t get to play in this event last year so I’m pumped to try and bring it home tomorrow.”
Over in the girls division, there is a bit more of a logjam at the top of the leaderboard. Both Rose Zhang (Irvine) and Casey Syal (Los Angeles) shot 1-under 70s.
Zhang had an up-and-down round, carding six birdies, two bogeys and a triple-bogey.
“My iron play was really good,” said Zhang. “I gave myself a lot of opportunities and I converted them with my putter.”
Come tomorrow, Zhang feels her experience will help her down the stretch.
“I’m just going to come out and stay calm,” said Zhang. “I’ve been in this position before.”
Syal also endured a rocky road on her way to the overnight lead. She also carded six birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.
Final round play begins at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow on split tees. Follow along at scga.org for results throughout the day.
View results for Southern California Junior Amateur Golf Championship