Anna Davis, Aldrich Potgieter lead Junior Invitational at Sage Valley


GRANITEVILLE, S.C. – The wonderful thing about Sage Valley Golfing Membership disarms you whilst you step at the assets.

After which you are taking your first swing.

The pristine path proved it’s a greater than succesful take a look at of skill Thursday all the way through the primary spherical of the 2023 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, the place the most productive junior avid gamers from all over the world have been in large part flummoxed on a just about absolute best (albeit cold within the morning) day.

Smartly, no longer everybody.

Aldrich Potgieter put his home windows down and his spherical on cruise regulate to the music of a bogey-free, 7-under 65 within the opening spherical. The South African made birdie on his first 4 holes of the day and added 3 extra on Nos. 6, 11 and 15 to take a commanding six-shot lead into Friday’s 2nd spherical. Bryan Kim, Eric Lee, William Jennings and Preston Stout are all T-2 at 1 beneath.

“I hit many of the fairways, used to be unfortunate at the ultimate hollow, it ran in the course of the fairway simply at the left facet and went right into a divot so didn’t in reality take a look for birdie there, however yeah, in reality cast,” stated Potgieter. “Left the chip brief on 17, virtually holed it, and on 16, in order that used to be in reality excellent. I’m having a look ahead to the next day to come.”

The 18-year-old could also be having a look ahead to a travel 20 miles down the street in a couple of weeks to Augusta Nationwide Golfing Membership. Because the protecting British Novice champion, Potgieter earned exemptions into each the mythical 150th Open at St. Andrews ultimate 12 months, in addition to the Masters this 12 months.

“(The Open) simply gave me such a lot revel in and I’m having a look ahead to the Masters now bobbing up,” he stated. “I’m making an attempt to make use of this week to arrange for Augusta, each have fast vegetables, and this golfing path is so excellent.”

Potgieter has but to make his first travel down Magnolia Lane, however he did pick out the mind of two-time PGA Excursion winner Tom Kim, who performed Augusta Nationwide previous this week ahead of an look at Wednesday’s Nike Evening on the Junior Invitational.

“The Masters is most certainly the largest event I grew up gazing on TV. Seeing that chip in from Tiger, I watch that most certainly 5 instances a 12 months on YouTube,” defined Potgieter. “To play (the Masters) at a tender age is simply incredible.”

Talking of, at the women facet of the leaderboard, 2022 Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Novice champion Anna Davis leads the way in which after a 2-under 70 on Thursday. Davis struggled at first after two bogeys over her first 3 holes however discovered some rhythm with 4 birdies over Nos. 6-10 to take a two-shot lead into Friday. Nika Ito and Andrea Revuelta are T-2 at even par.

“I used to be hitting it in reality shut many of the day. I roughly had a rocky get started there for a 2nd at the entrance 9, however I introduced it again,” stated Davis of her spherical. “I believe I used to be simply hitting each fairway, hitting each inexperienced, striking roughly let me down a little bit bit as of late, however rather than that it’s excellent.”

Round this time ultimate 12 months, the now-16-year-old from Spring Valley, California, used to be an underdog winner on the ANWA. In this day and age, she’s the favourite each event she tees it up.

“I’ve gotten used to it, roughly understanding other people know my identify now, other people know my face. Persons are gonna put drive on you as a result of they be expecting you to win those tournaments, however I simply don’t in reality let that get to me,” stated Davis. “I do know these kinds of women are nice avid gamers. I do know everyone has an opportunity to win. The eye is sweet occasionally, however yeah I believe I’m alright with it.”



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