The Woodlands, Texas - Bryan Kim of Brookeville, Maryland, and Jake Maggert of The Woodlands, Texas, carded 5-under-par 67s to hold the lead after the first round at the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods.
The AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods is one of the longest-running events on the AJGA schedule. Originally played in 1987, the tournament settled at The Club at Carlton Woods in 2009. The event has a storied past with champions such as Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.
Kim carded six birdies on the day, including four on the front nine to make the turn at 3-under-par 33. The 2023 grad is No. 6 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and is coming off a T6 finish at the Rolex Tournament of Champions in November. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play college golf at Duke University in the fall.
I played pretty well today. It's my first tournament since Rolex [Tournament of Champions] so it felt good to get out there and compete. I love the greens here, they roll really well and there are some good tee shots, it was definitely scorable today and I took advantage.
Maggert started the day on No. 10 and rolled in a birdie to get his day going. He avoided bogeys the rest of the round and finished with five-total birdies. The 2023 grad is currently No. 51 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. In 2022, he got his first AJGA win at the Accenture NW Arkansas Junior in September and followed it up with a runner-up finish at the Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich in October. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play college golf at Texas A&M University in the fall.
I played well and made a lot of putts, but some of my ball striking was a little skeptical on my front nine. I made some good pars saves and I'm going to keep the hot putter going into Sunday and Monday. That's all I'm looking for. I hit a poor tee shot on 16 and not a great chip which left me about 10 feet for par. I made that and that really got me some momentum.
Sitting one stroke behind Kim and Maggert are Kale Fontenot of Lafayette, Louisianna, Jaeyoung (Jeffrey) Kwak of (South Korea) La Mirada, California, at 4-under-par 68. In a tie for fifth at 3-under-par 69 are Wheaton Ennis of Eagle, Idaho, Jake Lile of The Woodlands, Texas, Jay Leng Jr. of San Diego, California, Ethan Fang of Plano, Texas, Kush Arora of Pleasanton, California, and Tyler Loree of Kula, Hawaii.
The second round is on Sunday with tee times off Nos. 1 & 10 from 8:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.