Myrtle Beach, S.C. – On an unseasonably cold day, Blake Taylor rode a hot six-hole stretch to a 2-under par 70 and the first round lead at the inaugural Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship at TPC Myrtle Beach.
Kathleen Sumner of Charleston, S.C., and Anika Dy of Traverse City, Mich., are atop the girls leaderboard after shooting matching 3-over par 75s. (Complete Boys and Girls Leaderboard)
Taylor arrived at the eighth tee one-under par for the day, and he caught fire, birdieing three of the next six holes, capped by a 50+ foot bomb on the par 3 13th to get to 4-under. He bogeyed 15 and 16 to come back to the field but will carry a one shot over over Bethesda, Md.'s Graham Hutchinson and Jamie Wilson of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., into the second round.
Taylor’s score was more than nine strokes better than the field average (79.76).
Dy and Sumner played similar rounds as each got off to slow starts and concluded their first nine holes at 5-over par before playing much better down the stretch. Sumner made three consecutive birdies on her 11th, 12th and 13th holes to highlight her round.
Similarly, Dy also had three back nine birdies and the duo will enter the second round three shots clear of China’s Zhu Wenqi, Emily Cox of Lancaster, S.C., and Kayley Marschke of Suwanee, Ga., all of whom shot 77.
The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship has attracted 90 kids from 12 states and eight countries to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the 54-hole event.
Among the countries represented at the event are Canada, China, England, Japan, Philippines, Scotland and Sweden. Nearly a quarter of the field will be comprised of international players.
A significant part of the tournament’s appeal is TPC Myrtle Beach, one of the Grand Strand’s most decorated layouts. TPC Myrtle Beach has hosted the Senior PGA Tour Championship and been ranked among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest, making it an ideal venue to test golf’s rising young stars. With the support of Johnson, one of top 10 players in the world, the tournament will provide participants a PGA Tour-like experience, and the chance to challenge themselves against their peers from others parts of America and the world.
The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship is being sponsored by Founders Group International, the Dustin Johnson Golf School, and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.
Johnson’s involvement with the tournament reflects his long-time commitment to junior golf, particularly in South Carolina, where he grew into one of the world’s best players. Through the Dustin Johnson Foundation, which is headquartered in Myrtle Beach, Johnson has donated more than $250,000 to junior golf, sponsoring numerous events throughout the state and helping cover entry costs for kids who need financial assistance.