Vilips, Lee are 36-hole Junior Orange Bowl Division leaders
Karl Vilips <br>(AJGA Photo)
Karl Vilips
(AJGA Photo)

CORAL GABLES, Fl (December 28, 2016) -- Australian Karl Vilips has opened up a five-stroke advantage heading into the final two rounds of the Junior Orange Bowl International Boy's Division at Biltmore Golf Course. Vilips is presently 10-under through 36-holes and well in front of second place duo Joaquin Niemann and Mateo Fernandez de Oliveir.

Vilips followed up his 6-under 65 with a 4-under 67 in Wednesday's second round as he played nearly flawless golf. Starting on the 10th he birdied his first hole and then dropped his only shot two holes later. Vilips got things rolling once again with a birdie just before the turn on No. 18 and then carded three more tweeters during his final nine holes. With two days in the books Vilips has bogeyed just three-times.

Chile's Joaquin Niemann, ranked fifth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, is attempting to keep pace and for the second consecutive day he turned in a red figure number. His second round tally was a 1-under 70 that saw the 2014 champion birdie four-times, bogey twice and also card a costly double-bogey.

Niemann will begin the third round tied for second with Mateo Fernandez de Oliveir of Argentina. For de Oliveir it has been rounds of 69-68 to reach 5-under. After starting on No. 10 de Oliveir birdied four of eight holes from the 18th until the 7th.

France's Edgar Catherine is 4-under in fourth while four players are 2-under in a share of fifth.

Defending Boy's Division Champion Kristoffer Reitan is 1-under in a tie for ninth.


The Girl's Division is being paced by Somi Lee of South Korea who moved into the top spot after starting the day one off the lead. Lee used a 2-under 69 to reach 5-under and the front of the leaderboard. Right out of the shoot Lee set the tone for her round with back-to-back birdies. Overall she would drain five birdies and bogey three-times.

Lee, 17-years-old, first became interested in golf as a seven-year-old when PGA Tour player K.J. Choi taught golf classes at her school.

“I immediately liked the discipline of the game,” Lee said through a translator following her round. "Today I wasn’t as sharp on the greens as I would like. I missed a lot of birdie chances, by just an edge on several. I need to improve on that but otherwise I’m happy with the way I’ve performed so far.”

First round leader Agathe Laisne is presently two off the pace and in second place at 3-under. The native of France shot a 1-over 72 on Wednesday and did well to post that score after starting 3-over through seven. 15th and 18th hole birdies helped keep her in the mix with two rounds still to play.

Canadian Monet Chun and Mexico's Ana Laura Collado are sharing third at 1-under before a gap opens up prior to Florida residents Tanya Eathakotti and Alexa Pano sharing fifth at 2-over.

-The Junior Orange Bowl contributed to this story

ABOUT THE Junior Orange Bowl

72-hole invitation-only event. Players must not have reached their 19th birthday by the end of the tournament and must not be participating on a College/University team. The field is limited to a maximum of 72 Boys and 42 girls representing US and Foreign Countries. There are no age categories and there is no cut during the Championship. Invitations are sent out in mid- September. The tournament's alumni list includes current professional players Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, and Lexi Thompson.

The golf tournament is just one of 15 competitions among The Junior Orange Bowl Festival. This volunteer-led, not-for-profit organization hosts athletic, academic, and cultural competitions that draw over 7,500 youth from Miami, the State of Florida, across the United States, and over 76 countries worldwide to compete. The annual marquee event rounding out each festival season is the Junior Orange Bowl Parade, a community based youth parade that travels through the historic streets of Coral Gables featuring high school and college marching bands, floats and various youth and community groups attracting over 35,000 families, friends, and neighbors. It dates back to 1948.

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