Special to The Sentinel-Echo
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Chase Roswall of Bristol, Tenn., shot an even-par 72, tying Nathan Pirtle of Sullivan, Ind., for the lead at 2-under-par 142 after the second round at the PNC Bank Junior Championship presented by London & Laurel County. In the Girls Division, Elsa Moberly of Science Hill, Ky., Hannabeth Owens of Crab Orchard, Ky., and Bing Singhsumalee of Naperville, Ill., share the lead at 1-under-par 143 at Crooked Creek Golf Club
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the PNC Bank Junior Championship presented by London & Laurel County is a 54-hole stroke play competition, with a 50 percent cut after 36 holes, played on the par-72 course at Crooked Creek Golf Club. The event features 63 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 19 states, three countries and Puerto Rico. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,773 yards while the Girls Division is playing the course at 5,996 yards.
London’s Alex Davis was the only county player to make the cut as he finished tied for 34th with a two-round total of 152 to find himself 10 shots out of first place. The cut line was 52nd place.
Kyle Jeffers finished in 87th place with a 161 total. He shot an 80 on the first day and 81 on the second. Barrett James was tied for 90th with a 163 total following rounds of 83 and 80. Korey Philpot finished in 104th place with a 183. He shot 94 and 89.
Roswall shot 2-over-par 38 on the front nine, and stormed back with birdies on Nos. 11, 14 and 18 for a 2-under-par 34 on the back nine. Roswall’s adjustments at the turn made a difference, he said.
“I figured out I was a little too close to the ball, stepped back a little bit and I don’t think missed a green on the backside,” Roswall said. “I’m pretty proud of myself, I’ve never been this close in an AJGA so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Pirtle played consistent on the par-5s, he eagled No. 15 and narrowly missed a second eagle when he lipped out on No. 3. Pirtle, who started on No. 10, shot even-par 36 on his front nine, and 37 on the back nine, on a day frequented by intermittent rain.
“I played pretty good, could have been a couple strokes better probably but conditions were a lot tougher today so 73 is not bad,” Pirtle said. “This is the first time I’ve been in the top 20 going into the last day so I’m pretty excited, just going to try and keep my nerves down and play golf like I know how.”
Jose Luis Lopez Butron of Mexico, Mexico, is one stroke back of the lead at 1-under-par 143. Tied for fourth is Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tenn., Andrew McKinney of Danville, Ky., and Michael Sass of Louisville, Ky., at even-par 144.
In the Girls Division, Bing Singhsumalee had the low second round, shooting 2-under-par 70 to earn a share of the lead at 143. Starting off No. 10, Singhsumalee carded seven birdies, finishing at 35 on the front nine and 35 on the back nine.
“I was definitely hitting my irons a lot better today; I played consistent, I didn’t really have any bad holes,” Singhsumalee said. “I’m just going to go into tomorrow with no expectations, just play my game and I should be fine.”
Owens shot 1-under-par 71, in a round that included four birdies and a chip-in eagle on the 465-yard, par-5 No.3.
“I was feeling pretty good, I seemed to be hitting my driver pretty straight,” Owens said. “This is my fifth tournament event of the year and it’s the best I’ve played in a little while. I’m just excited to see how it goes tomorrow.”
Moberly, the first-round leader, shot 1-under-par 35 on her back nine, posting a 1-over-par 73 to cling to a share of the leaderboard heading into tomorrow’s final round.
Owens leads after day one
Tanner Owen of High Point, N.C. shot a 4-under-par 68 to garner a first-round lead at the PNC Bank Junior Championship presented by London & Laurel County Tuesday. In the Girls Division, Elsa Moberly of Science Hill, Ky., opened with a 2-under-par 70 for the lead at Crooked Creek Golf Club.
Owen, who started on No. 10, tallied an even-par 36 through his first nine holes.
“I was really hitting the ball well the entire day,” Owen said. “I got a birdie to start on No. 10 which was good and I kept hitting good shots. It’s one of those courses where you really have to be in play and hit the balls straight. And that’s what I did for the most part.”
Owen went on to birdie Nos. 2, 3, 8 and 9 to record a 4-under 32 back nine, securing his 68 and a one-stroke lead over the field heading into tomorrow’s second round.
“I just hit a lot of great iron shots in there pretty close and so it was a pretty effortless backside,” he said. “I made a lot of good putts and stayed positive the entire day which was good.”
Jose Luis Lopez Butron of Mexico, Mexico, Nathan Pirtle of Sullivan, Ind., Matthew Mourin of Miami Lakes, Fla., and Michael Sass of Louisville, Ky., share a 4-way tie for second at 3-under-par 69.
In the Girls Division, Moberly shot 37 on the front nine, and carded three birdies on the back nine for a 3-under-par 33. She sunk her third birdie, a 20-foot putt on No.18, to finish the round at 2-under-par.
“The first nine didn’t go as planned,” Moberly said. “Then on the backside I knocked them in there closer and the putts started to fall so that was really what helped me.”
Moberly is eager to continue her solid play from the back nine.
“I’ve been in this spot before so I know how it feels,” she said. “So I’m just excited to go into the rest of the tournament.”
In second is Allison Woodward of Unicoi, Tenn., with a 1-under-par 71. Hannahbeth Owens of Crab Orchard, Ky., at even-par 72, sits in third.
Alex Davis of London finished the first round tied for 24th with a 4-over-par 74. Kyle Jeffers was in 79th place after shooting an 80. Randell Barrett James was tied for 91st with an 83, and Korey Philpot was at 106 with a 94.