Jordan Garner (Golf NSW photo)
SAN DIEGO, California (July 11, 2017) -- Australian Jordan Garner was the only player to break 70 at the always-challenging Torrey Pines South Course in Tuesday's opening round of the IMG Junior World Championship.
Playing in the boys 15-18 division, Garner's round was good enough for a one stroke lead over four players -- three of them from California. Posting rounds of 70 were Steve Sugimoto of San Diego, William Mouv of Chino, and Devondeep Bling of Ridgecrest (we'll reserve any puns about his last name until Friday when a champion is crowned.)
As with most good rounds, Garner's could have been lower. After going out in a nearly flawless 4-under 32 on the easier of the two nines, Garner was cruising along nicely on the back, with just two bogeys against three more birdies (7 on the day on the South is impressive) to get to 5-under. A double bogey on No. 17th briefly derailed the Australian, who is a past champion of the country's Faldo Junior Series.
Tianling Guan, playing as an 18-year-old a full four years before he stunned the world by making the cut at The Masters at 14, shot a disappointing 77 in the first round. Recent SCGA Amateur winner Sam Choi, likely worn out from 4 days of medal play in the desert heat, posted 2-over 74 and is 5 back. Look for the 17-year-old to bounce back as he adjusts from 120 degree temperatures (and ball flight) to the cooler coastal weather in La Jolla.
Among those in the top-10 is Nick Cummings of Massachusetts, who is staying at "AmateurGolf.com World HQ" in Carlsbad, just as Bryson DeChambeau did before becoming a golf star.
The girls 15-18 division reflects the truly international state of women's golf, as only one player in the U.S. (Annick Haczkiewicz of Las Vegas, 71) is in the top-10.
Leading is Yuka Saso, 17, of the Philippines, after a round of 6-under 66 on the newly-renovated North Course. Her round included six birdies and an eagle on the 17th hole. That hole is one of the best changes made by Tom Weiskopf in his renovation of the North -- by flipping the nines he was able to allow the ocean holes to play last, while changing the old 8th from a par-4 to a risk/reward par-5.
Saso liked the reward.
She is chased by 15-year-old Kan Bunnabodee of Thailand, who shot 4-under 68. Seven players are tied for third at 2-under 70.
For full field results from all divisions, all the way through the 6-and-under "mini-me" golfers descending on various courses in San Diego County, use the results link and look for the pulldown menu on the upper right to access the division you are interested in.
View results for IMG Junior World
ABOUT THE IMG Junior World
Age Divisions: 15-17, 13-14, 11-12, 9-10, 7-8,
6-under. 72 hole stroke play event for 15-17
division, 54 holes for other divisions. Qualifying
required for 15-17, other divisions. Played at
multiple courses in the San Diego area. Online
application process begins approx. Feb 1.
View Complete Tournament Information