Bhatia, Seumanutafa take the lead at Rolex TOC
Akshay Bhatia
Akshay Bhatia

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2018) – The 2018 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and an Ohio State University signee have taken over the lead after the second round of the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions.

Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, N.C., began the day tied for third after posting 4-under-par 68 at PGA National’s Champions Course. But on Tuesday, Bhatia, who also received his invitation to the U.S. Walker Cup practice session earlier this week, demonstrated why he is junior golf’s top player.

Bhatia, 16, opened his second round with an eagle on the par-5 10th and added another birdie on that side to make the turn at 2-under 34. He added four birdies on his back nine to finish the day at 5-under 66, good enough for a three-shot lead on first-round leader Karl Vilips of Wesley Chapel, Fla. (by way of Australia).

Vilips, 17, is a five-time AJGA winner who most recently won a gold medal for Team Australia at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. He backed up an opening 65 with a 72 on Tuesday to fall off Bhatia’s pace.

In the girls’ division, Aneka Seumanutafa of Emmitsburg, Md., also began the day tied for third after a first-round even-par 72 on the Champion Course left her two strokes back of leader Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, Calif. On Tuesday, Seumanutafa, who began her round on No. 10 of the Fazio Course, paired three birdies with one bogey to make the turn at 2-under 34. The Ohio State signee added two more birdies on her bogey-free back nine to end the day at 4-under 68. Seumanutafa now leads the tournament by one stroke at 4-under 140.

Li, who won the event last year, is now in second after posting a 1-under 71. The 2016 Junior PGA Champion is a two-time First Team Rolex Junior All-American and three-time AJGA Invitational winner.

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ABOUT THE Rolex Tournament of Champions

The Rolex Tournament of Champions features 84 of the best junior golfers in the world. The tournament assembles the Rolex Junior All-Americans with the past year’s champions to create The Greatest Week in Junior Golf. Format is 72 holes of stroke play, with boys and girls competitions.

View Complete Tournament Information

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