PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida - Jackson Koivun of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Jeffrey Guan of Bexley, Australia, share the second-round lead at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex. The 2023 grads hold a one-shot advantage with 18 holes remaining.
Koivun, No. 5 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, shot an 8-under par 64. He had a bogey-free round with six birdies and an eagle on No. 11. Starting on No. 10, he was 3-under par through his first three holes and kept momentum going.
Koivun is a verbal commit to Auburn University and shot even-par in the first round. He is playing in his third Junior PLAYERS and finished T19 in 2021.
I feel like I played a lot smarter than yesterday. I gave myself really good opportunities to score and make a few birdies and even an eagle as well. I knew I had it in me after making six birdies yesterday and I kept the mistakes to a minimum today and it paid off.
Guan, one of the top Australian amateurs in the world, fired his second consecutive round under par at TPC Sawgrass - THE PLAYERS Stadium Course with a 69. Guan had four birdies in the second round and battled to hold a share of his lead.
Guan is a member of the International Team for the Junior Presidents Cup taking place later in September. He is playing in only his second AJGA tournament. His first was the UNIQLO / Adam Scott Junior Championship in February, which he won.
Koivun and Guan are both 8-under-par 136.
I struggled a little bit off the tee. My scrambling was on point and that saved me so I was pretty happy about that. I putted well the past two days and I am looking forward to tomorrow.
Thanks to a longtime partnership between the PGA TOUR and the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), 78 of the world's top-ranked male junior golfers, invited through the Rolex AJGA Rankings, will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play event mirroring THE PLAYERS Championship setup, hole locations, and three-hole aggregate playoff format. Rolex also added support in 2022 becoming a presenting partner.
The 16th annual Junior PLAYERS Championship showcases the best of the next generation of future college and professional stars. To date, 45 past players have graduated to play in the PGA TOUR's PLAYERS Championship. Justin Thomas became the first Junior PLAYERS Championship alumni to win the professional event in 2021. He competed as a junior in 2008 and 2009.
Representatives from a record-high 14 foreign countries and 18 U.S. states (seven from Florida) are competing in one of the AJGA’s annual top boys fields, featuring seven of the top 10 boys in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Of the 78 boys competing, 42 players are signed or verbally committed to play college golf. There are 11 sets of future college teammates in the field led by Stanford with four and the University of Oklahoma with three players committed.
Sitting one shot back from the leaders, Carson Kim of Yorba Linda, California, and Ethan Fang of Plano, Texas are at 7-under-par 137.
Cam Smith of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and first round co-leader Jay Leng Jr. of San Diego, California, are tied for fifth at 6-under-par. In seventh, Hans Risvaer of Miami, Florida, is at 5-under, followed by first round co-leader Joshua Bai of Auckland, New Zealand, at -4.
In a three way tie for ninth place, Henry Guan of Dallas, Texas, Cayden Pope of Lexington, Kentucky, Bryan Kim, of Brookeville, Maryland, and Eric Lee of Fullerton, California, at 3-under-par 141.
Final-round tee times will run from 8:10-10:10 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 at TPC Sawgrass - THE PLAYERS Stadium Course on Sunday, September 4.