TOYOTA CITY, Japan – The United States used three subpar rounds to card an opening-round 6-under 207 and take a four-stroke lead over host Japan and Thailand (-2) after the first day of the 2017 TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup Supported by JAL in Toyota City, Aichi-Prefecture, Japan. France sits in fourth at minus-1, one stroke ahead of European counterpart Denmark (E). South Africa (+3) checks in sixth, one shot ahead of New Zealand (+4) and three shots clear of eighth place Germany (+6).
“We got off to a rocky start but I was really proud of the way they fought back,” United States boys coach Kyle Blaser said. “I expect some good things out of them. They fought hard to finish well, which excites me for the rest of the week.”
Italy and Mexico (+8) are tied for ninth while Peru lays claim to the 11th position at 10-over, one shot ahead of Colombia (+11). Guatemala finds itself in 13th at plus-14, ahead of Korea (+15) and Zimbabwe (+23).
American Frank Capan shot a 4-under 67 to take the lead in the boys’ individual competition, one stroke ahead of Gustav Frimodt of Denmark (-3). Three players – Clement Charmasson of France and Thailand teammates Kousuke Hamamoto and Sadom Kaewkanjana – are tied for third after posting opening-round 69s (-2). Brandon Mancheno and Travis Vick of the United States, France’s Dimitri Mary and Japanese teammates Shota Ueki and Ren Yonezawa sit in a tie for sixth at minus-1.
In the Girls’ Division, defending champion United States shot even par and holds a one-shot opening-round lead over the Australia and Italy (+1). Four teams – Colombia, France, Japan and South Africa – are tied for fourth at 5-over while Mexico (+7) and the Philippines (+19) round out the field.
“I think it was a good start,” American girls coach JoJo Robertson said. “They were all excited and ready to get the tournament going. They played great and were steady all day. We’ll be ready to go again tomorrow.”
On the girls’ individual leaderboard, Italy’s Benedetta Moresco claimed the top spot after day one with a 2-under 70 – one shot ahead of Cory Lopez of Mexico, South Africa’s Kajal Mistry and Emilia Migliaccio of the United States (-1). Australia’s Stephanie Kyriacou and Yuna Nishimura of Japan are tied for fifth at even par, a single shot clear of a three-way tie for seventh between Australia’s Grace Kim, Lucie Malchirand of France and the United States’ Kaitlyn Papp (+1). Valery Plata of Colombia is currently in 10th place at plus-2.
The second round of the 2017 TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup Supported by JAL tees off tomorrow, Wednesday at 8:00 AM