By Tim Wing, Communications Staff
Juniors stormed the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club on Saturday’s first round, with nearly two dozen scores coming in under par.
The par-5 No. 7 was especially thrashed by the field, with 25 boys and 12 girls playing the hole under par. In fact, there was one boy and one girl that eagled the seventh hole, which is nicknamed Caddywampus.
Spencer Soosman of Westlake Village, California, was 2-under on the hole, which played at 502 yards for the boys. Soosman made the turn at 1-under-par 35 before firing a 4-under-par 32 on the back nine, sharing the lead in the Boys Division.
In the Girls Division, Sofia Linette Garcia Peralta of Asuncion, Paraguay, eagled the 478-yard par-5. She finished her round at 5-over-par 77.
Seven holes scored averages below par for the boys (Nos. 2, 4, 7, 11, 14, 15 and 18), and the girls played six holes at below-par averages (Nos. 7, 8, 11, 14, 15 and 18).
Another impressive performance came from the Boys Division, where Koichiro Ishika played his first nine holes at 5-under-par.
The Japan native started on the 10th hole, carding birdies on Nos. 11, 14 and 17, and fired an eagle on the par-4 No. 15. Ishika finished the day at 2-under-par 70.
Players will continue to try and shoot for scores under par at Saturday night’s social activity, the Glo-Birds Putting Competition. A glow-in-the-dark putting course will be set up by the AJGA staff on the practice putting green, using glow sticks to guide juniors from the tee to the hole. Competition has been a tradition at the Thunderbird International Junior for years.