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.
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.