Agnes Irwin junior Kaitlyn Lees, the reigning two-time Pennsylvania Junior Girls champion, headed the local contingent Tuesday after two rounds of the PDQ / Philadelphia Runner Junior, an American Junior Golf Association event being staged at Saucon Valley Country Club’s Weyhill Course in Bethlehem.
Lees, a Bryn Mawr resident and Philadelphia Country Club member, had rounds of 76 and 73 over the par-72 Weyhill course, which measured 6,070 for the girls, and stands in sixth place at 5-over-par 149. After Tuesday’s grueling double round, the tournament concludes with 18 holes Wednesday.
All the players in the girls division are chasing precocious Alexa Pano, a 12-year-old from Lake Worth, Fla. who had rounds of 71 and 69 to take a two-shot lead on the field at 4-under 140. Kyra Cox of South Salem, N.Y. is alone in second place with rounds of 70 and 72 for a 2-under 142 total.
Komkamol Sukaree (74-70) of Thailand is in third place at even-par 144, Madasyn Pettersen (72-74) of Rockford, Ill. is fourth at 2-over 146 and Jessie Kweon (76-72) of Little Neck, N.Y. is fifth at 4-over 148.
Gabby Kim, who won the PIAA Class AAA East Regional title as a junior at Radnor last fall, heads a group of five players tied for seventh at 154. Kim, who helped the Raiders capture District One and PIAA team titles in Class AAA, had rounds of 80 and 74.
Rylie Heflin, who captured the Philadelphia Junior Girls title earlier this summer, had a pair of 77s to join Kim in the tie for seventh at 154.
Also at 154 were Jennifer Cleary (79-75) of Wilmington, Del., Allison Paik (78-76) of Providence, R.I. and Christine Shao (78-76) of Green Brook N.J.
Meghan Fahey, who won the Inter-Ac League title with Notre Dame in the spring, but will join Lees as a junior at Agnes Irwin, is tied for 15th at 160 after posting a pair of 80s. Fahey represented Overbrook Golf Club and Merion Golf Club in the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. earlier this summer.
Cassidy Gavaghan of Ambler is alone in 18th place, a shot back of Fahey at 161 after rounds of 80 and 81.
On the boys side, Huntingdon Valley’s Brian Isztwan and Conor McGrath headed up the local entrants as they are tied for ninth at 1-over 145. Isztwan, a junior at Penn Charter, had rounds of 73 and 72 over a Weyhill Course that measured 6,980 yards for the boys. McGrath added a 1-under 71 to his opening-round 74.
Jacob Bayer, a Western Kentucky recruit out of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Alex Jamieson, a Notre Dame commit out of Duxbury, Mass, share the lead in the boys division at 2-under 142.
Bayer had the afternoon’s best round, a 3-under 69, after opening with a 73. Jamieson had a pair of 1-under 71s.
The day’s best round belonged to Christian Chapman of Victor, N.Y., who lit up the Weyhill layout with a remarkable course-record 63 in the morning. He was unable to sustain that level of play in the afternoon as he carded an 80 that left him in a tie for third at 1-under 143. He was joined at that figure by Justin Lane of Woodstock, N.Y., who had rounds of 71 and 72.
Four players – Ben Sigel (69-75) of Deephaven, Minn., Ben Smith (70-74) of Novi, Mich., Viraj Garewal (72-72) of Raleigh, N.C. and James McKee (73-71) of Windham, N.H. – are tied for fifth at even-par 144.
Kennett senior Evan Brown is tied for 22nd at 150 after rounds of 73 and 77. Episcopal Academy’s Cole Kemmerer (77-76) and Kevin Scherr (78-75) of Nazareth are tied for 32nd at 153. Robert Beck (75-79) of Allentown is tied for 38th at 154.
Malvern Prep sophomore John Updike, who won the Pennsylvania Junior Boys title earlier this summer, is alone in 40th place with rounds of 77 and 78 for a 155 total. His Malvern Prep teammate, junior Matthew Davis, is another shot back in a tie for 41st with rounds of 77 and 79 and a 156 total.
Max Siegfried, the former Haverford School standout, is tied for 44th with rounds of 80 and 77 and a 157 total. Updike, Davis and Siegfried are all Aronimink Golf Club members.
Tyler Roland (84-80) is in 50th place at 164 and Alex Cwienkala (78-90) of Allentown is 51st at 168.