RUMFORD, Rhode Island – Kyle Vance of Audubon, Pennsylvania and Travis Vick of Houston are the 36-hole leaders in the Boys’ Division at the 41st Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Genesis Networks, which is being contested this week at Wannamoisett Country Club.
Steady rains in the Rumford area left standing water on multiple holes and forced a pair of play stoppages that totaled 3 hours and 16 minutes.
The wet conditions forced the postponement of the second round of play in the Girls’ Division, which was scheduled to begin at Noon. As a result, the Girls’ Division of the Junior PGA Championship has been reduced to a 54-hole event.
The girls’ pairings will be adjusted for Thursday’s second round, after which, a 36-hole cut will be implemented to include the top 36 girls, plus ties.
Vick posted a soggy-but effective 65, the low round of the Championship (Boys Division), as six birdies trumped a pair of bogeys on Wannamoisett’s par-69 Donald Ross layout. He was also up to the mental and physical challenge that comes with a rainy summer day in Rhode Island.
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“A 10-hour round is long, because you get so loose and it is hard to maintain your swing,” said Vick (71-65, 136). “ I was saved by my putter. I made a few bombs and it is always great to see those go in.”
Long-range birdies on the second (30 feet) and 18th (35 feet) holes, as well as a 20-foot par save on No. 7, fueled Vick’s charge.
Meanwhile, Vance’s volatile scorecard featured eight pars, six birdies and a quartet of bogeys.
All that mattered little to Vance (69-67, 136), who was elated with his two-day standing.
“Being at the top of the leaderboard is always a good position to be in,” said Vance, a Kansas State commitment. “I played well, but I definitely left a few shots out there. I can play better and hope to show that the next two days.”
Following the round, Vance shared his awe of Wannamoisett’s championship pedigree and his desire to finish first or second in the Junior PGA Championship and earn the right to play in next month’s Junior Ryder Cup.
“It would be awesome to make the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team,” said Vance. “It’d really be great to do that. There is a lot of golf left here and there are a lot of people chasing, but if I were able to win this, … this would easily be the biggest win of my life.”
After teeing off at 7:10 a.m., Kyle Hogan of Cypress, Texas enjoyed nearly two hours of dry play. He parred each of Wannamoisett’s initial six holes, but began his charge with a birdie-birdie-birdie sequence on holes 7-9.
Hogan’s barrage of birdies began modestly on the 7th hole, with a six-footer. That’s when things really got wet and wild.
“The rain started to come down on (the par-3) 8, so I was just trying to make pars,” said Hogan, who will report to Texas Tech in less than two weeks. “I hit a 6-iron to the front of the green, had about 80 feet. I made that. Then on No. 9, I had another 6-iron in. I hit it to 60 feet, and made that too.”
Hogan drained a 25-foot birdie on No. 17 for good measure. He is alone in third place with a two-day total of 137 (70-67).
Vance, Vick and Hogan are the only three Boys that are under par.
The Girls’ second round is slated to begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday. Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, is the current leader, as her bogey-free 7-under, 64 on Tuesday left her two shots clear of Virginia Green, of Point Clear, Alabama, and Lucy Li, of Redwood Shores, California.
Three others – Gina Kim (Chapel Hill, North Carolina), Youngin Chun (Gainesville, Florida) and Kyra Cox (South Salem, New York) – are three strokes behind Galdiano. Defending Champion Elizabeth Wang of San Marino, California, is seven shots back.
Rains in Rumford began shortly after 9 a.m., so the majority of the Boys’ Division played through a steady rain for much of the second round. The Boys’ 72-hole Championship will feature a 54-hole cut to the low 30, including ties.
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