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Romano, Lang prevail at Junior Orange Bowl
Nina Lang and Andrea Romano (Jr Orange Bowl/Twitter photo)
Nina Lang and Andrea Romano (Jr Orange Bowl/Twitter photo)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Jan. 6, 2018) – Andrea Romano broke free from a tie to start the day and pulled away from the field for a four-shot victory at the Junior Orange Bowl Championship. Romano, from Italy, scored in the 60s for the final three days of the championship, which played a large role in his victory.

Romano had a final-round 2-under 69 at the Biltmore Golf Course on Sunday that included a birdie to start the day and an eagle to end it. The round came on the heels of rounds of 67-66 in the second and third rounds. Romano was under par every day, having started the week with 1-under 70.

Jose Luis Ballester had the round of the day, a 6-under 65, but it wasn’t quite enough for him to catch Romano. Ballestero did climb two spots up the leaderboard into the runner-up position.

Third-round co-leader Alex Vogelsong, who is destined for the Auburn roster beginning next fall, had a final-round 74 – his highest round of the week – and it dropped him to third.

In the girls division, Nina Lang put the finishing touches on a four-shot victory with her final-round 1-over 72. Lang, from Germany, won the title at 6 under. She bookended back-to-back 67s in the second and third rounds with an opening and closing 72.

Daniela Ballesteros was second at 2 under, the only under player to finish 72 holes under par.

Mayu Wakui was third at even par followed by Chloe Chan at 4 over and Kerttu Hiltunen at 5 over.

ROUND 3

Alex Vogelsong maintained his lead at the Junior Orange Bowl on Saturday – at least, he maintained a share of it. Andrea Romano used a 5-under 66 at the Biltmore Golf Course to catch up to him at 10 under.

Together, the two are five shots ahead of the rest of the field. Vogelsong’s third-round 70 was his highest of the week, following opening rounds of 67-66. He went 2 over in his final three holes.

Both players are high school seniors, and Vogelsong has committed to Auburn for next fall.

Barclay Brown, another member of the class of 2019, had a third-round 67 to reach 5 under for the week. Behind him, Jose Luis Ballester and Jake Beber-Frankel are tied for fourth at 2 under.

In the women’s division, Nina Lang also maintained her lead. The German has now put together back-to-back rounds of 67, and combined with her opening 72, she is 7 under.

The next closest player, Daniela Ballesteros, is at 3 under after rounds of 69-71-70.

Mayu Wakui is third at 1 over, and Kerttu Hiltunen and Darcey Harry share fourth at 3 over.

ROUND 2

Through two rounds at the Junior Orange Bowl, Alex Vogelsong is on top with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. The Palm City, Fla., resident is 9 under after a bogey-free, 5-under 66 at the Biltmore Golf Course on Friday.

Vogelsong, who has committed to Auburn for next fall, has had just two bogeys in 36 holes. It has allowed him to pull away from the field. Last fall, Vogelsong was fourth at the Junior Players Championship and ninth at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Both were AJGA-sponsored events. On a bigger stage, Vogelsong missed the match-play cut at the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.

Italian Andrea Romano, a fellow member of the class of 2019, is the closest player to Vogelsong with his 5-under total. Romano followed his first-round 70 with a second-round 67.

Ryou Hisatsune, Barclay Brown, Jake Beber-Frankel and Christoph Bleier share third at 1 under.

In the girls division, Germany’s Nina Lang leads at 3 under. Lang had a 67 on Friday that included two birdies in her final three holes.

Daniela Ballesteros is second after rounds of 69-71 left her at 2 under. Mayu Wakui and Chloe Chan are tied for third.

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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