Jay Hwang belongs in the conversation of the top juniors in the county. He’s got the red numbers to prove it.
Hwang put the finishing touches on a 5-under 66 Tuesday in the second round of the Polo Golf Junior Classic. Four months after finishing runner-up in the U.S. Junior Amateur – he lost, 4 and 3, to top-ranked Jordan Spieth – and Hwang is still firing at pins.
Since moving from Chinese Taipei last year, Hwang has played like one of the top junior players in the nation. In addition to finishing second at the U.S. Junior, the ninth-ranked Hwang also tied for fifth at the Junior Players and tied for sixth at the Junior World Golf Championships.
Hwang, 17, who now lives in San Diego, made nine birdies on the difficult Champion Course at PGA National on Tuesday while most of his competitors were simply trying to get off the course in one piece (i.e., Jeff Kang, No. 2 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings, shot 5-over 76 and missed the cut). Only four other players managed a round under par and only one was 2 under. That player, Lucas Bjerregaard, did not advance to match play.
With his ability to make birdies in bunches – Hwang made four in a row on the front nine Tuesday – expect to see Hwang’s name on prestigious leaderboards more often. And next to his name expect nothing but red.