Inclement Weather Suspends Second Round of 45th Boys Junior PGA Championship; Play to Resume Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. ET
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Fighting through storms in the Lexington area that caused two stoppages in play early on, it looked like wet conditions would challenge the field in the second round of the 45th Boys Junior PGA Championship Tuesday at Kearney Hill Golf Links.
Instead, low scores peppered the scoreboard in the morning wave, with 16 players shooting below par, making way for new names atop the leaderboard.
At 8:51 p.m. ET, play was suspended for the third time on the day - this time due to darkness. Second round action will resume at 7:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Round 3 starting times will be available 30 minutes after the conclusion of Round 2 and will range from approximately 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. off of holes No. 1 and No. 10.
Ben James, 18 of Milford, Connecticut, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to move into the lead. James, who is No. 4 in the Rolex AJGA rankings and a University of Virginia commit, registered five birdies on the day. His 54-hole score of 133 has him 9 under par.
“We went off early so the greens were in really good shape,” James said. “I hit a lot of greens. I think I hit 16 greens, so I had a look at birdie a lot of times. I ended up making five of them. So, I kept the ball in play in the fairway for most of the time so ended up playing old-man golf- fairway and green. I putted well and made a couple of good par saves on the par 3s, which are pretty challenging. Just kind of went fairway-to-green, so nothing too special I would say. Just steady.”
William Jennings, of Greenville, South Carolina, moved five spots up the leaderboard into a tie for second after shooting 4-under 67. Like James, he birdied five times, including three in a row on holes 5, 6 and 7.
Round 1 leader Nick Dunlap, from Huntsville, Alabama, got through 14 holes before play was suspended. At even par for the round before play was suspended, he sits in a tie for second at 7 under for the championship.
Four other golfers joined James at 5-under 66 on the day to make their way into the top 10. The biggest jump came from Lexington native and Auburn University commit Cayden Pope, who moved up 24 spots. Pope settled five birdies and landed a big eagle on No. 14 to push him into a tie for seventh at 5-under 137 for the championship.
“I didn’t get off to a great start, 1 over after four and then got called in for rain on the fifth hole,” Pope said. “I knew I hit a good shot up there on time, looking at eagle. So, I went into the rain delay feeling good, came back out and made the putt. Birdied the next hole. Next hole got called back in for rain, so it was really an off-and-on front nine, but then settled into the round on the back nine, made four birdies and played solid.”
Pope wasn’t the only junior to see a big jump. Max Herendeen of Bellevue, Washington, climbed 14 spots also firing a 5-under 66 Tuesday to join a three-way tie for fourth place at 6-under-par 136, with Ohio State commit Topher Reed (32-35--67) of Fairview Park, Ohio, and Tennessee commit Caleb Surratt (34-33--67) of Indian Trail, North Carolina.
Two other players are tied for seventh, including Matthew Troutman of Louisville and John Wild of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, who picked up six birdies in the second round to also shoot 5-under 66.
News and Notes
- Play was suspended twice on the day due to storms in the area - the first coming at 11:20 a.m. ET. After play resumed at 11:45 a.m., it was called again at 12:28 p.m. and resumed at 2 p.m. Afternoon starting times were delayed 2 hours, 45 minutes before darkness caused a third suspension at 8:51 p.m.
- Three golfers withdrew from the 45th Boys Junior PGA Championship Tuesday due to injury: Ryan Davidson (Flowery Branch, Georgia), Anthony Naples (Miller Place, New York) and Wells Williams (West Point, Mississippi). Williams sat in a tie for third after the first round after firing a 4-under 67. The Vanderbilt commit was also a 2020 Rolex First Team All-American.
The Blue Grass Eight
Eight Kentucky natives are competing in the Boys Junior PGA Championship this week. Below are their second-round scores:
- Matthew Troutman, Louisville - T7 - (65-72--137)
- Cayden Pope, Lexington - T7 - (71-66--137)
- Hayden Adams, Lexington - T23 (70 - one over par through 14)
- Luke Coyle, Campbellsville - T23- (73 - 2-under par through 14)
- Zach Watterson, Richmond - T47 - (71 - 2-over par through 16)
- Rylan Wotherspoon, Florence - T58 - (72 - 2-over par through 16)
- Jackson Finney, Louisville - T47 - (73-71--144)
- Rocco Zakutney, Paducah - T109 - (76-77--153)