By John Dever, PGA of America
BRYAN, Texas – Brad Dalke of Hobart, Oklahoma, seized the Boys’ Division lead with a Championship-record 62, while Yujeong Son of Norman, Oklahoma, retained the Girls' Division lead after Tuesday's second round of the 40th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Genesis Networks.
Dalke’s hot play was, perhaps, only matched by a heat index at Miramont Country Club that went well beyond triple-digits. But even that’s debatable.
The 17-year-old’s second-round, 9-under 62 not only made up for the two-shot deficit he faced overnight, but it set a Junior PGA Championship single-round record and established a new course mark.
At 12-under, Dalke leads the Championship by six strokes over Kaiwen Lui of San Diego.
The single-round Championship record (63) that Dalke trumped was shared by Pat Perez (1993) and Chris Couch (1990). As for the course record, that mark, also a 63, was set during a 2012 U.S. Open Qualifier and was owned by John Peterson. Until now, that is.
Dalke birdied the morning’s first three holes and made the turn at 6-under-par on the day, 8-under for the Championship. Dalke’s outward 29 matched Miramont’s 9-hole record.
After the round, Dalke admitted to allowing the notion of a 59 to seep into his head as he made the turn.
“I was trying to keep 59 out of my mind on the back nine,” said Dalke, who allowed that he “did a pretty good job of just playing one hole at a time” on the back side, during which he carded a bogey-free 33.
Dalke's comfort level at Miramont is evident. His experience in this Championship at Miramont in 2014, when he tied for third despite an inability “to break the barrier and shoot a really low number,” helped him secure a spot on the 2014 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team. That low number came today for Dalke, who will join the University of Oklahoma golf team this fall.
With Tuesday's historic effort, Dalke’s 36-hole score of 130 also established a new two-round standard for the Junior PGA Championship. Chris DeForest (2007) and Joe Monte (2005) previously shared that mark at 133.
Dalke’s bogey-free scorecard included nine birdies; six on the front and three more on the back. He parred his final three holes.
Philip Barbaree, the first-round leader, shot and even-par 71 today and his two-day total of 137 leaves him in sole possession of third place. He’s seven shots behind Dalke.
Wilson Furr (Jackson, Mississippi) and Cole Hammer (Houston) are tied for fourth at 4-under-par, 138.
The 72-hole Championship will feature a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties.
Son retained her first-round lead, posting a second-round 73 that included three birdies, a trio of bogeys and a double on the par-5 18th hole (Son’s ninth hole of the afternoon).
The leader by three after an opening-round 64, Son’s cushion is down to one shot at the Championship’s midway mark.
Even with the lead in hand, Son was not satisfied with her play. “I wasn’t that good,” Son lamented. “But, I stuck in there and made it to the end. I had three 3-putts today, which really busted my round.”
The low rounds of the afternoon in the Girls’ Division came from Elizabeth Wang (San Marino, California) and Mariel Galdiano (Pearl City, Hawaii). Both carded impressive 1-under-par 70s despite playing through an unrelenting afternoon heat.
At 4-under-par 138, Wang is in second place, one shot behind Son. Another shot behind Wang is Kaitlyn Papp (Austin, Texas), who posted an even-par 71 Tuesday, good for solo third.
Fai Khamborn (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Galdiano are tied for fourth with a two-day total of 140. They are three shots behind. Galdiano is riding a strong wave of momentum after winning the Canadian Women’s Amateur last weekend.
Son’s 64 on Monday matched Virada Nirapathpongporn for the lowest round in the Junior PGA Championship’s 40-year history. Nirapathpongporn posted her 64 during the 1999 edition of the Championship.