Wyndham Invitational presented by Odyssey
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Wyndham Invitational presented by Odyssey

Vargas jumps out to an early two-shot lead after day one

A tight leaderboard leaves five boys tied for second
Asher Vargas tee shot on 16th hole - 2024 - Wyndham Invitational DSC08079.jpg

Asher Vargas, of Spring, Texas jumped out to an early lead in Tuesday's opening round of the Wyndham Invitational presented by Odyssey shooting 4-under-par, 66. Vargas started hot making birdie on three of his first five holes and avoiding any bogeys before the turn. He also birdied holes Nos. 11, 12 and 15 to secure a two-shot lead going into round two.

The lead feels good. It takes the pressure off so I can just play the course and see how I stack up against the PGA TOUR pros that have played out here.
Asher Vargas

Five players are two shots back and are all tied for second place. Tyler Mawhinney of Fleming Island Florida, Carson Bertagnole of Pinehurst, North Carolina, Brooks Simmons of Ponte Vedra, Florida, Mason Howell of Thomasville, Georgia, and Luke Smith of Toronto, Ontario, Canada all came in with a 2-under-par round of 68.

Mawhinney started the day with two birdies on his second and fifth holes. He made a bogey on holes Nos. 10 and 12 but quickly bounced back with birdies on holes Nos. 13 and 15 to conclude his round.

Bertagnole carded a double bogey on his second hole of the day but was flawless the rest of the afternoon. His back-to-back birdies on six and seven pushed him forward and another pair of birdies on holes Nos. 15 and 16 is what has him sitting comfortably tied for second place.

Simmons played solid most of the round with birdies on four of his first 13 holes. Unfortunately, bogeys on three of his last five holes kept him out of the top spot.

Howell made a bogey on his first hole of the day and another on hole No. 10 after making the turn. He was able to bounce back in a big way with birdies on Nos. 11, 12, 13, and an impressive one on the 18th.

Smith had an up-and-down of a front nine carding two bogeys and three birdies. He went bogey-free on his back nine and knocked in a birdie to close out his first 18 holes.

About the Tournament
This year marks Sedgefield's 23rd year hosting the AJGA, a testament to the course's rich history. The 72 juniors in the field will compete on the same course that PGA TOUR players will play just two months later during the Wyndham Championship. Notably, 49 PGA TOUR winners have competed in the Wyndham Invitational. Additionally, past participants have achieved significant success, with 12 winning the U.S. Amateur Championship, 15 claiming the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and seven capturing the NCAA D-I Men’s Individual Championship.

Notable past champions include:

  • Brian Harman (2002, 2003)
  • Justin Thomas (2009)
  • Henry Guan (2022)
  • Blades Brown (2023)

10 of the Top 35 Players in the Rolex AJGA Rankings
No. 7 Henry Guan of Dallas, Texas
No. 14 Carson Bertagnole of Pinehurst, North Carolina
No. 16 Phillip Dunham of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
No. 18 Michael Riebe of Encinitas, California
No. 20 Tyler Mawhinney of Fleming Island, Florida
No. 26 Clark Van Gaalen of Turlock, California
No. 27 Brady Catalano of Upper Arlington, Ohio
No. 28 Ronin Banerjee of Irvine, California
No. 30 Jake Albert of Blacksburg, Virginia
No. 33 John Daniel Culbreth of Thomasville, Georgia

Full Results