HOT SPRINGS, Ar. — There’s still a crowded group at the top of the boys standings after Wednesday’s second round in the Junior PGA Championships at Hot Springs Country Club.
Seventeen-year-old Will Gordon, a junior at Lakeside High School, made the day’s biggest move by charging 34 places to a share of third place. Gordon made seven birdies over a nine-hole stretch, shooting a 6-under-par 65. His two-day total of 135 leaves his two shots back of co-leaders Michael Riebe of Encintos, Ca., and Miles Russell.
Hoping he didn’t sound cocky, Gordon felt he could have gone lower on the Park course.
“I didn’t make birdie the first hole, probably the easiest hole on the course,” said Gordon. “It left a bad taste in my mouth. Then I hit a wedge close at No. 4, and told myself it was time to make a run. I wanted to show the rest of the field what I could do. I do feel like I’m one of the best golfers out here.”
Gordon responds with seven birdies
Gordon responded in spectacular fashion with birdies at 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12.
“I didn’t hit the ball great, but I putted extremely well,” he said. “My even par round on the Arlington course Tuesday was not my best. Playing late in the afternoon, there were a lot of footprints on the greens. Today I played earlier and the greens were in good shape. I was making a lot of fifteen, twenty and thirty-footers.
“My game plan tomorrow is eighteen greens and eighteen fairways. My putter has been on fire. I’ve never played in a tournament with this much support. It was pretty special seeing so many people at the final green. They were cheering for me if I did good or bad.”
Father proud of son’s support
Gordon’s father (Neal) followed his youngest son the entire round.
“This was a special day, because it’s his home course; there were a lot of folks supporting him,” said the elder Gordon. “I was not surprised he shot 65, because he’s truly capable of doing it at any time. It’s a real fun time foe our family right now. We just goy back from South Carolina and the U.S. Junior Amateur. We’re going to Houston next week.”
Sixteen-year-old Kylee Choi blistered the Arlington course, leading the girls’ division with a 36-hole total 0f 133 (9-under-par). She’s posted rounds of 66 and 67. First round leader Gianna Clemente is at 134 after shooting 70.
Gordon tees off Thursday at 1:40 p.m. on the Arlington at No. 1.