The conditions are not always ideal, both on the course and in life. Golf is often compared to life because sometimes you hit a great shot and don’t result you wanted. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control and you must continue grinding it out in poor conditions. That is what family is for — they serve as someone to lean on in dire times. Every player in the field this week is a champion, and they are accompanied by a world-class family and support system. You all are why we do what we do and we cannot thank you enough for your dedication to the game.
The second round of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship saw great shots, weather delays and career rounds. Eleven of the thirteen age groups were able to finish on Friday, while the two twelve-year-old age groups finished Saturday morning. The size of the field, number of locations and unpredictability of the weather made for an adventurous round two; but it couldn’t stop these young golfers from having fun and carding low scores.
Ten of the age groups have an outright leader, while Girls 8, Girls 9 and Boys 12 possess a two-way tie for first.
Six-year-old Yuuma Nemoto continued his impressive play on Friday as he followed up his opening round of 32 with a 30 at Midland Country Club. Nemoto birdied six of his nine holes and now has a six-shot lead over Ajalawich Anantasethakul.
Jessy Huebner built upon his one-shot lead after round one by carding a 32 in round two. The six-time Regional Championship winner carded an eye-popping 57 at the Jekyll Island Cup in March, and will look to retain his five-stroke lead in the age group after finishing in fifth at the 2015 World Championship.
Tristan Wieland has a one-shot lead over Tyler Watts and 2015 World Champion Philip Dunham heading into the final round. Wieland recorded a consistent even par on Friday, while Dunham and Watts did their best to close the gap with scores under par. Their final round pairing at 2:24 is one to follow closely on Saturday. This is nothing new for Wieland and Dunham as the two were paired together in the final round last year with Dunham edging Wieland by two strokes.
While Ratchanon Chantananawut has a three-shot lead in the Boys 9 age group, he is being chased by three young players who currently sit at five-under-par. Chantananawut, who prefers to go by “T.K.” won both the 2014 and 2015 World Championship. Shawn Coultoff, Samuel Duran and Patmon Malcom will all look to prevent the three-peat.
While we can’t give the champion’s trophy to Sihan Sandhu quite yet, the Boys 10 age group has all but been decided after he one-upped his 63 in round one with a 62 on Friday. Sandhu finished in 3rd, 2nd and 3rd in his past three World Championship appearances, and is clearly a young man on a mission this week. He currently possesses a twelve-shot lead heading into the final round.
Shubham Jaglan is another player who has distanced himself from the rest of the field in his respective age group. Jaglan, who won the 2015 European Championship, carded an impressive 63 of his own in round two and now owns an eight-stroke lead over before teeing it up on Saturday.
Ben Brogdon of Little Rock, AR closed the gap in the Boys 12 age group on day two. Brogdon shot 67 in his second round which included three birdies on Saturday morning during the restart. He is now tied with Jeevan Sihota heading into Saturday afternoon.
It’s anyone’s match in the Girls 7 & Under age group. Asterisk Talley leads at -2 after posting back-to-back 35’s, but there are many players within striking distance. Alexis Lamadrid is currently one-shot off the lead while five others are three shots or better.
2o15 World Champion, Gianna Clemente is now tied with Isabella Dovhey at six-under-par. Dovhey was able to make up her one shot deficit in round one by posting a bogey-free 32 in round two.
Another 2015 World Champion is now tied in her age group — Chloe Kovelesky posted a 36 in round two while Megan Meng fired a 35 to tie her in Girls 9 heading into the final round.
Vanessa Borovilos added to her round one lead by carding another under par round on day two. The ten-year-old backed up her solid 71 with an even better 70 on Friday. She teed off on the 18th of Seven Lakes at even par, and was able to keep the putter in the bag after holing out for eagle.
Another 67 was on the card for USKG veteran Alexa Pano in round two. However, she was not the only eleven-year-old girl to post a 67 on Friday. Bailey Shoemaker was able to match Pano’s score with the help of four straight birdies on holes three through six at Southern Pines Golf Club.
We have a new leader in Girls 12 after they were finally able to finish their second round on Saturday morning. Anushka Borkar of India posted the low round for the age group — three-under-par. She is -1 for the tournament and has a three-shot lead heading into round three.