Kristoffer Reitan of Norway leads Junior Orange Bowl
Kristoffer Reitan
Kristoffer Reitan

CORAL GABLES, Florida (December 28, 2015) -- Norway’s Kristoffer Reitan vaulted to a 3-stroke lead in the Boys championship with a bogey-free 67 and a halfway total of 137. Trinidad’s Sachin Kumar also posted 68 for outright second (140) with defending champion Joaquin Niemann, 73 (142) tied for third with Belgium’s Adrien Dumont de Chassart.

In the Girls Division, USA’s Emilia Migliaccio (68, 70) shares the lead with South Korea’s Euikyung Shin (69, 69) two strokes ahead of Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela (70, 70). France’s Agathe Laisne took Girls low round of the day, a 68 lifting her to a tie for 5th place.

A second day of gusty conditions challenged low scoring and most players admitted to playing conservatively on a tough layout where short-sided misses can be costly.

“This was a day I had fun,” Reitan said, explaining that for him that means playing with complete confidence rather than those rounds when he has to struggle to keep things under control. That confidence reflected in fifteen greens in regulation and only two fairways missed. “I hit a lot of really good shots and the few I didn’t get perfectly finished in good position,” he explained. “And my putting was sound, so combined it all made for a fun day.”

Kumar, from Trinidad and Tobago currently at school in Florida, credited a red-hot putting streak for his 68, which contained four birdies and an eagle. “I holed a 15 footer at the 18th (his 9th) for eagle and birdied four of the next five holes, most with putts from about 15 -18 feet. Unfortunately it cooled off a bit toward the end.”

Niemann, the Chilean defending champion seeking to become the first Boy Division repeat winner in 52 years, admitted to playing “horrible” but vowed to put the day behind him. “There’s plenty of golf to be played over the next two days,” he said, “and tomorrow I’ll be ready.”

Emilia Migliaccio two rounds have been remarkably dissimilar but her attitude, that’s always high-positive. She opened the championship with a seven birdie, three bogey helter-skelter, round two a demure and steady 1-under par 70 with just one error.

“Yes, it was very different. Today was much steadier, I went a long stretch just missing birdies by inches but never got into any real trouble.” Confessing she enjoys playing in windy conditions, Emilia also feels comfortable on these superfast Bermuda-grass greens. “My course in North Carolina recently changed to this type of grass, so I’m felling right at home.”

Euikyung Shin has so far carded nine birdies in 36 holes. “I like the course and I’m playing, very steady,” she said.

- Courtesy Junior Orange Bowl

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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