Austin Hitt, Eric Berggren lead respective divisions after Florida Boy's Amateur second round
Austin Hitt <br>(Golfweek Photo)</br>
Austin Hitt
(Golfweek Photo)

SAINT AUGISTINE, FL (July 7, 2016) -- The 62nd Boys’ Junior Championship kicked off Wednesday at World Golf Village - King & Bear Course and St. Johns Golf & Country Club in Saint Augustine. Players in both the 16- 18 & 13-15 Age Division will play one round on each golf course Wednesday and Thursday, then the field will be cut to the low 50 & ties in the 16-18 Age Division, and low 20 & ties in the 13-15 Age Division for the final round at World Golf Village - King & Bear.

The field is highlighted by 2015 Boys’ Junior Champion and University of North Carolina Signee Austin Hitt, and 2015 FSGA Boys’ Junior Player of The Year Brandon Mancheno in the 16-18 Age Division. Joseph Pagdin highlights the 13-15 Age Division, he is a two-time Future Masters Champion, and has three Florida Junior Tour victories including the 2015 FJT Tour Championship and 2016 FJT Major.

Boys 16-18 Age Division

Austin Hitt fired a low round of four-under par to be the lone leader heading into the final round. Hitt carded three birdies on both his front and back nine to finish in first (135 total) over Chris Nido, of Palmetto Bay. After a first round 69, Nido had four birdies in a row on holes two through five and ended the day with an eagle on the par five 18th hole for a 136 total. Anthony Muttillo, Linus Samuelsson, and Manuel Girona tied for third place with a two round total of 138. Advancing to the final round are 51 players with a two round total of six over-par (150) or better.

Boys 13-15 Age Division

An impressive second round of 67 (-5) propelled Eric Berggren, of Windermere, into first place. Berggren’s started the day strong with four birdies on the front nine, three in a row on holes five through seven, and finished with two birdies and one lone bogey on the back nine. No stranger to competition, Eric finished in the top ten in his Florida Junior Tour starts in 2016, including one win at River Wilderness in February. There is a tight race at the top of the learderboard with Berggren leading by one stroke (138 total) followed by Joseph Pagdin in second place (139 total). The field was cut at three over-par, 147, and 22 players advanced to the final round.


Boys 16-18 Age Division

Defending Champion Austin Hitt, of Longwood & Manuel Girona, of Windermere share the opening round lead at the 62nd Boys’ Junior after opening with a 67 (-5) at St. Johns Golf & Country Club. Both player’s round included seven birdies and two bogeys, with Girona having a stretch of four in a row from 11-14. The pair lead Zach Justice & 2015 FSGA Junior Player of the Year Brandon Mancheno by one stroke, after both opened with 68 (-4).

Boys 13-15 Age Division

Fred Biodi, of Port Saint Lucie went out in 67 (-5) to take a one-stroke lead over Fletcher Wunderlich, Nicholas Gabrelcik & Gray Albright. Biondi’s opening round card would have only one blemish, a bogey on the 17th, which he quickly answered by making an eagle on the par-5 18th. Biondi has come out on top in his only two Florida Juinor Tour starts in 2016, winning at Ocala National in April and Indian Spring in May.

ABOUT THE Florida Junior Amateur

54 holes of stroke play to crown the top junior in the state. Non exempt players need to qualify at sites across the state in 18 holes of stroke play. Started in 1955, former Boys Junior Champions include Gary Koch, Len Mattiace, Josh McCumber, Jeremy Anderson and Matt Kuchar. Male amateur golfers ages 13-18. Entrant must not reached their 19th birthday and not attending college. All players must walk and carry their own clubs.

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