Since winning Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2015, Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, Louisiana, has been searching for his first victory. His highest finish came in February at the CB&I / Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods at T7. Barbaree got off to a hot start Saturday at The PING Invitational with three birdies in his first four holes, ending the day at 2-under-par 70 and tied for third. The Louisiana State University verbal commit tees off at 10:10 a.m. off No. 1 tee.
The challenge of Lake Louise
No. 17 at Karsten Creek played the hardest for the Girls Division during the first round, playing almost a half stroke over par winding around Lake Louise. However, Ashley Menne of Surprise, Arizona, didn’t have a problem with the hole, as she holed out for eagle on the 390-yard par-4 (T2).
Group to watch
The 10 a.m. tee time off No.1 features three of the top-15 ranked juniors in the world. Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tennessee sits at No. 2 after a win at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Khavish Varadan of Wesley Chapel, Florida recently earned his first Invitational victory at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf and sits at No. 6. Sean Maruyama of Encino, California, is seeking his first AJGA win after finishing third at the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior and is No. 15 in the rankings. All three boys sit four shots back of the leaders at 1-over-par 73.