Second-round notes: 2016 Teen World Championship

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Jose Cristobal Islas tees off on the 10th hole of Pinehurst No. 8

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Day two of the 2016 Teen World Championship is in the books. The scores in the second round were noticeably lower as the players seemed much more acclimated to their respective courses. The change in scores brought a change in leaders in four of the six age groups.

Boys 13: Pinehurst No. 8

One of the participants that refused to relinquish his lead was Jose Cristobal Islas. Islas enjoyed five birdies in an up and down effort for an even par 72. After posting a modest 74 in round one, Brendan Valdes shot the lowest round of the tournament for the age group to gain sole possession of second place. He followed up his 37 on the front nine with a bogey-free effort on the back, accompanied by birdies on 11, 13 and a clutch eagle on 17. His three-under 69 bumped him up to within one stroke of the leader, Islas.

Boys 14: Pinehurst No. 9

Jack Heath began playing in U.S. Kids Golf Local Tour events and World Championship Qualifiers at the age of five. Today, at the age of 14, Heath is leading the pack at Pinehurst No. 9 after posting a tournament-low, 67 in round two. Heath carded four birdies on the day and tacked on an eagle on the 530 yard par 5. He wasn’t the only one to accomplish this feat on the lengthy par 5 — Clay Stirsman and Jackson Skeen also eagled 15.

Boys 15-18: Pinehurst No. 4

Joe Bultman tied the low round of the tournament with a 67 of his own at Pinehurst No. 4. Bultman played in the last two Teen World Championships and his previous low round was a 74 back in 2014 where he recorded an ace in his final round on the 16th hole at Pinehurst No. 6. This year he is tied with AJ Beechler who has the advantage of being a Pinehurst member and resident. As is tradition, the final round of the Boys 15-18 is cut between an A and B flight. The B flight takes another trip down Pinehurst No.4, while the A matches up with the storied Pinehurst No. 2.

Girls 13: Mid Pines Inn & Country Club

There is a new leader in the Girls 13 division, and it is well deserved — Ana Raquel Sanson Leon followed up her 80 in the first round with a 2-under 70 in round two. The two-time Regional Champion and five-time World Championship participant posted the only round under par for the age group, and now holds a three-shot lead heading into the final round.

 

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Ana Raquel (right) with her playing partners Jennifer Lilly and Sydney Nethercott

Girls 14: Mid Pines Inn & Country Club

Madeleine Laux‘s 75 in round two was good enough to tie day one leader, Chloe Schiavone at +5 for the tournament. Both Laux and Schiavone failed to break 80 in the 2015 Teen World Championship; what a difference a year can make. These two young girls from opposite sides of the U.S. are sure to push each other with every shot in their final round at Mid Pines.

Girls 15-18: Pinehurst No. 6

Ling-Jie Chen (Girls 15-18) remains atop the leaderboard after day two, but has seen her lead slightly diminish after strong play from the rest of the field. A consistent round from Valentina Espinosa (77) and a solid effort from Maria Paula Ferrer (72) has them tied at nine over — two shots off the leader, Chen. The top seven spots in Girls 15-18 are all occupied by International players, making them heavy favorites to take their age group in the Teen Van Horn Cup.

The Teen Van Horn Cup will be played Sunday, July 31 at 7:30 a.m. on Pinehurst No. 2.

Boys Cup Projections

Girls Cup Projections

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Rylie Heflin high fives her daddy caddy after sticking it tight on the 18th green

I Am #USKidsGolf

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First-round notes: 2016 Teen World Championship

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The 2016 U.S. Kids Golf Teen World Championship showcases over 600 players from more than 40 nations – including countries as diverse as Indonesia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. Now in its 11th year, the Teen World Championship serves as an aspirational goal for teenage golfers across the world.

Three United States players and three International players currently occupy the top spots on the leaderboard after the first round of the Teen World Championship.

One participant in each boys age group emerged with a one-stroke lead or better, while a handful of challengers have positioned themselves nicely for the upcoming rounds.

After finishing 7th in the Boys 12 age group in the 2015 World Championship, Jose Cristobal Islas (Boys 13) now possesses a two-stroke advantage in his first year of the Teen World Championship. Islas traveled from Mexico for the eighth-consecutive year and already has two top 5 finishes to his name. He now has his sights set on the first place trophy after posting a 2-under, 70 in round one.

Clay Stirsman (Boys 14) leads the pack at Pinehurst No. 9 after posting a 3-under, 69 in round one. Stirsman, who resides in the small town of Carmel, Indiana, has traveled to Pinehurst since 2011. His first round score was the lowest in his World Championship career. He leads the age group by one stroke over Georgian Brock Hoover.

Behind the strength of five birdies and only one bogey, Garrett Defisser (Boys 15-18) carded the lowest round of the young tournament with a 4-under, 68. Defisser’s strong effort in the first round gave him a one shot lead over Pinehurst native, AJ Beechler. Defisser began playing on the U.S. Kids Golf Phoenix Local Tour when he was only five-years-old, and quickly rose through the rankings. This year marks Garrett’s 10th trip to Pinehurst since the age of five, and he will look to capitalize on an impressive first round score.

Comparable to the boys, one girl in each age group beat out the rest of the field to gain sole possession of the top spot on the leaderboard.

The four-stroke lead held by Juliana Camargo (Girls 13) is the largest among all six age groups. The Colombian native posted a 75 in her first round at Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club. Camargo, played in the previous four World Championships, and took home the first place trophy at the 2015 Holiday Classic.

Chloe Schiavone (Girls 14) has a two-stroke lead in her age group after shooting even par in round one. Schiavone’s impressive 72 is her lowest round by nine strokes in her three-year World Championship career. She has six Jacksonville Local Tour victories to her name, and will look to add an even bigger piece of hardware to her trophy case this week at Mid Pines.

Sixteen-year-old Ling-Jie Chen (Girls 15-18) traveled all the way from Taiwan for the third consecutive year to claim the top spot after round one in the 2016 Teen World Championship. After posting an even par 72 at Pinehurst No. 6, Chen has a three-stroke lead heading into day two.

 

The Teen Van Horn Cup will be played Sunday, July 31 on Pinehurst No. 2.

Boys Cup Projections

Girls Cup Projections