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Surratt takes over lead at Boys Junior PGA with record round
Photo courtesy of PGA
Photo courtesy of PGA

Caleb Surratt’s third round at the Boys Junior PGA Championship featured the kind of back nine most golfers only dream of, and the kind necessary to set records.

Surratt, 17, of Indian Trail, North Carolina - a suburb 10 miles southeast of Charlotte - sprung to the top of the leaderboard tallying six birdies in his last nine holes for a Championship third-round record 9-under-par 62 on Wednesday at Kearney Hill Golf Links, which featured nine total birdies.

Surratt, the No. 7-ranked player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and a University of Tennessee commit, also came within one shot of the course record (61) set by PGA TOUR professional Jason Teater. Surratt also was just two strokes off the Championship overall single-round record of 60, set in 2019 by Jake Beber-Frankel.

“It was obviously a good scoring day, but I felt like I’ve been executing my process all week exactly how I’m trying to,” Surratt said. “I just haven’t gotten the results that I got today. So, it felt good, but I didn’t really keep track of where I stood or anything. I was just trying to focus on what I’ve been trying to do all week, which is just focus on every shot over the ball and control what I can control.”

After 54 holes, Surratt is 15 under par (69-67-62--198) with a three-stroke lead. His 198 is the second-best scoring mark through the Championship’s first three rounds, behind Beber-Frankel’s 192 in 2019.

Thursday’s final round grouping will feature three players in the Top 25 of the Rolex AJGA Rankings. No. 5-ranked Nick Dunlap, of Huntsville, Alabama, sits second at 12 under (64-70-67--201) while No. 25 Bryan Lee, of Fairfax, Virginia, is tied for third at 11 under (70-67-65--202) with No. 7 Ben James, of Milford, Connecticut. Surratt, Dunlap and Lee will tee off at 9:50 a.m. ET.

James will join No. 24 Eric Lee, of Fullerton, California, and 2020 Ohio Junior and Northern Ohio PGA Sectional Champion Topher Reed in the second-to-last group teeing off at 9:40 a.m. ET.

Bryan Lee, a University of Virginia commit, posted one of the best rounds on the day with a 6-under 65, scattering eight birdies and improving on his second round 67 to move within four shots of the lead. Fellow Virginian Mehrbaan Singh, of Ashburn, also fired a 6-under 65 in the third round and climbed 32 spots into a tie for 14th at 4 under par.

Reed, a Ohio State commit from Fairview Park, Ohio, stayed steady with his second consecutive 4-under 67, putting him 10 under par (69-67-67--203).

After the second round was interrupted by rain, the weather cleared for the third round, and several players that survived the cut after the Wednesday morning resumption of the suspended second round went low. Besides Surratt’s 9-under 62, 39 players shot below par, with 30 shooting in the 60s.

My Old Kentucky Home

Louisville native Matthew Troutman and Lexington native Cayden Pope put two Bluegrass State players in the top 10 going into the final round. Both sit tied for seventh at 7 under par. Eight Kentucky natives made the cut, including 2019 Boys Junior PGA Champion Jackson Finney, who posted his best score of the week with a 5-under 66. Below are third-round scores:

Cayden Pope, Lexington - T7 - (71-66-69--137)
Matthew Troutman, Louisville - T7 - (65-72-69--137)
Jackson Finney, Louisville - T21 - (73-71-66--210)
Luke Coyle, Campbellsville - T28- (73-72-66--211)
Hayden Adams, Lexington - T23 (70-73-75--218)
Rylan Wotherspoon, Florence - T62 - (72-74-71--217)
Warren Thomis, Richmond - T63 - (72-73-73--218)
Zach Watterson, Richmond - T71 - (71-73-77--221)

News and Notes

Round 2 resumed at 7:45 a.m. ET Wednesday. Play was suspended three times on Tuesday, twice due to storms in the area and a third due to darkness.
Golf Recruiting Season

With a field of 144 of the top junior players, at least 45 college coaches have been at Kearney Hill seeking the next great recruit and checking on their commits. Among the schools on hand have been Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and USC.

View results for Junior PGA Championship
ABOUT THE Junior PGA Championship

One of golf’s major championships for juniors, the Boys Junior PGA Championship is where the best in the world get their start. Begun in 1976, at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, the Championship has been a popular stop on the national junior circuit for many of today’s PGA touring professionals including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Pat Perez, who held the record for 24 years until Akshay Bhatia shattered it by 5 strokes in 2017. 72-hole, stroke-play Championship, with a cut after 36 holes to the low 70 plus ties. The Boys Junior PGA Championship is open to males who are no older than 18 years of age by the end of the tournament.

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