Defending champion Jordan Spieth of Dallas beat Chelso Barrett of Keene, N.H., 7 and 5 in the first round of the U.S. Junior national championship on Wednesday at the Classic Course at Egypt Valley Country Club.
The opening round didn’t go as smoothly for 17-year-old medalist Curtis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla.
Thompson, who finished the championship’s two qualifying rounds at 10 under, trailed Scottie Scheffler of Dallas by two holes with eight to play before he rallied for a 3 and 1 victory. Thompson’s younger sister, Alexis, won the 2008 U.S. Girls junior championship.
Spieth will play Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., in the second round on Thursday. Thompson will take on Denny McCarthy of Burtonsville, Md.
Gavin Hall, 15, who shot a tournament record 62 Tuesday to finish the qualifying rounds tied with Spieth, one shot behind Thompson, also won his first-round match. Hall, a high-school sophomore from Pittsford, N.Y., beat Brandon Ng of Toronto 3 and 2.
Wilson Bateman, another Canadian from Alberta, was the highest seeded player to lose on Wednesday. Bateman, who like Spieth is 16, entered match play as the No. 4 seed but he was beaten by Aaron Kunitomo of Lahaina, Hawaii, in 20 holes.
Second- and third-round matches are scheduled for Thursday, and the quarterfinals and semifinals are slated for Friday. The 36-hole championship match is scheduled for Saturday.