A number of groups are neck-and-neck following the primary day of the 2021 Nationwide Automotive Rental PGA Jr. League Championship, broadcast dwell for the primary time ever Friday on ESPN2 and ESPN+ on the stunning Grayhawk Golf Membership.
Again to tackle the desert for his or her second Championship look, Group Oklahoma (Damaged Arrow) leads the pack of 12 groups from throughout America with an astounding 26-under-par within the two-person scramble, staff combination stroke play format. Simply two pictures again and tied for second at 24 below are rookies Group Florida (Orlando) and third-year veterans Group Connecticut (Torrington).
The Oklahoma staff is led by Captain Amanda Fisher of Battle Creek Golf Membership and Coached by Southern Hills Nation Membership PGA Head Skilled Cary Cozby. Cozby’s 13-year-old son, Banks, shot a 9-under via 18 holes along with his teammate Ainslie Stanford, 11, from Edmond.
“It’s been enjoyable to look at him benefit from the sport, love the sport, and love the competitors,” mentioned Cary. “It’s fairly particular as a dad, particularly a PGA dad.”
“Oh my gosh it’s been a blast,” added Banks. “Caddying for my dad on the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, after which coming right here and him being a Coach. It’s actually outstanding what we’ve performed as a household this 12 months.”
Each single pairing on Group Oklahoma completed below par, with a duo of 11-year-olds, Porter Hart from Damaged Arrow and Chase Hughes from Oklahoma Metropolis, carding an 8-under day via 18 holes.
“We began a bit of tough with a bogey on the primary gap and shot 2 below on the entrance 9,” mentioned Hart. “We performed rather well on the again. It felt like we didn’t miss a putt. We shot 6 below and went 8 below for the day.”
Twice, the Orlando-based All-Stars have suffered crushing losses within the Regionals –– each of which resulted in tie-breakers –– to narrowly miss a shot at representing their state on the Championship. They’re making an attempt to vary that destiny this 12 months.
“We’ve been ready a very long time to be right here,” mentioned Cori McAuliffe, Captain of Group Florida. “I’ve by no means seen them giggle and smile a lot on a golf course as they’ve the final couple of days.”
Group Florida duo Josh Castellanos, 11, from Windermere, and Ayden Febres, 11, from Orlando, dropped six birdies via the primary 9 holes, finally ending at 7 below for the day.
“I simply get on the market with my driver, he hits the irons properly, and we make the putt,” mentioned Febres of his dynamic along with his teammate. “If I miss the putt, I do know he’s going to make it.”
Group Connecticut, Captained by Torrington Nation Membership PGA Head Skilled Bob Sparks with Teaching from Jim Bunel, are not any strangers to the Nationwide Automotive Rental PGA Jr. League Championship and the panorama of Grayhawk Golf Membership.
“I’m very fortunate, that is my sixth time right here, and it simply will get higher and higher,” mentioned Bunel, who made his first look on the Championship teaching Group Connecticut alongside present PGA Honorary President and PGA Jr. League Captain Suzy Whaley, who’s on-site as an ESPN analyst for the dwell broadcast. “We missed a couple of dozen putts from 12 ft and in. The staff that can win the trophy on the finish of this factor will make each one in every of them. Hopefully, it will likely be us.”
Connecticut teammates North Chery, 14, from Monroe, and Robby Rosati, 13, from Stratford, performed lights out as we speak, going 11 below, together with an eagle on the fifth gap of the day. Teammates Jack Chung, 13, from Greenwich, and Rocco Capalbo, 13, from Westerly (Rhode Island), weren’t far behind at 8 below.
“We had a tricky stretch the place each of us couldn’t hit an iron shot, however we acquired it again and made a pair birdies,” mentioned Capalbo. “It was a enjoyable spherical. We’re simply hoping that we will exit and kill it tomorrow.”
Behind the Connecticut and Florida groups sits Group North Carolina (Charlotte; second consecutive look) in fourth at 21 below par, led by Captain Brent Reneau, PGA, with Coach Mike Abate, PGA. North Carolina pair Preston Hage, 13, from Raleigh, and Gracie Tune, 13, from Waxhaw completed 9 below via 18 holes.
“It was a very good day as we speak,” mentioned Tune. “We made a number of putts and acquired near the opening with our knock-down pictures.”
Shut behind in fifth sit Championship first-timers Group Utah (Lehi) at 20-under-par. Captain Tele Wightman, PGA Director of Golf at Thanksgiving Level Golf Membership, helms the staff.
“It began off a bit of windy and people first few holes aren’t the simplest, so we acquired off to a bit of little bit of a sluggish begin,” mentioned Wightman. “The cameras had been out. I feel we had been a bit of tight, then we began to quiet down, and we’re proper within the thick of it for tomorrow.”
Reside protection resumes tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPNEWS and continues at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, with the total schedule under. The highest 4 groups following Saturday’s competitors will advance to the Semifinals on Sunday morning for the precise to play within the Championship Match on Sunday afternoon. The 2 groups that don’t make the Finals will play within the third place match.
Saturday, Oct. 9
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET – ESPNEWS
3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET – ESPN+
Sunday, Oct. 10
3 a.m.-5 a.m. (Encore of Saturday) – ESPN2
4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2