Kyle Vance, the two-time District One Class AAA champion at Methacton, and reigning Inter-Ac League champion Meghan Fahey put themselves in position for a chance to make match play as the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship teed off Monday.
Vance, a senior, carded a 1-over 73 at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. and is tied for 30th in an opening round of qualifying for match play at the U.S. Junior Amateur that wasn’t quite complete when darkness halted the proceedings.
A couple of players from Houston are leading the way as Travis Vick fired a course-record 8-under 64. One shot back in second at 7-under 65 is Cole Hammer, who qualified for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and is a University of Texas recruit.
Vance had an up-and-down round that featured six bogeys and five birdies over the 7,326-yard, par-72 Honors Course layout. He finished strong with birdies at 14, 15 and 17 around a bogey at 16.
Two other players earned tickets to Ooltewah along with Vance at the local qualifier at the Chesapeake Bay Golf Club in Rising Sun, Md. Austin Barbin of Elkton, Md. is tied for 79th after posting a 4-over 76 and Jacob Hansel of Sewell, N.J. is tied for 123rd with an 8-over 80.
The top 64 finishers following Tuesday’s second round of qualifying will advance to match play, which gets under way Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Fahey, who plays out of Overbrook Golf Club and Merion Golf Club, has a little work to do to reach match play following an opening-round 79 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.
She is one of 23 players tied for 79th, so a move into the top 64 needed to qualify for match play is within her grasp.
Defending champion Eun Jeong Seong of South Korea opened defense of her title in impressive fashion, leading the field with a 6-under 67 at the 6,406-yard, par-73 A.W. Tillinghast classic.
Fahey, who won the Inter-Ac title at the Academy of Notre Dame, but who will be a junior at Agnes Irwin in the fall, got off to a rough start at Ridgewood. Starting on the back nine, she bogeyed her first four holes, but made birdies at 14, 15 and 17 around a double bogey at the 16th to make the turn at 3-over.
Fahey made another double bogey at the first, a birdie at the third and bogeys at four and five before settling down with four pars to finish her round.
Two of the other four players who qualified along with Fahey in a local qualifier at Silver Creek Country Club, Valery Plata of Colombia and Elizabeth Wang of San Marino, Calif., were in that large group with Fahey at 79.
Of the other two Silver Creek qualifiers, Kyra Cox of South Salem, N.Y. is tied for 33rd following a 75 and Youngin Chan of Cedar Park, Texas is tied for 44th with a 76.
Like the boys, the junior girls will play a second round of qualifying Tuesday with the top 64 finishers advancing to match play beginning Wednesday.