Cao Sen may not be the oldest and most experienced player in the World Junior Challenge field, but on Friday, he shot the lowest score.
Sen, a Lake Mary, Fla., native, shot 1-under 71 on the Island Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club to take the first-round lead in the boys 14-and-under division. Sen, who made a tournament-high five birdies in the opening round, leads Sachin Kumar of Trinidad and Tobago by a shot.
Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ontario, leads the girls division after carding a 3-over 75 on the Island Course. She holds a one-stroke advantage over Maria Alejandra Villalobos of Gainesville, Fla., and Hana Furuichi of Orlando, Fla.
“It was cold this morning and a little hard to get going,” Costabile said. “I tried not to worry about my bogeys. I knew there were birdie holes coming up and that allowed me to stay confident.”
There is a three-way tie for first place in the boys 15-19 division as Italy’s Renato Paratore, and Lake Mary’s Robin Wang and Jerry Zhu all find themselves at 1 over after opening-round 72s on the Copperhead Course.
There are 11 players within two shots of the lead, including notables Eric Macrow of Kingston, Ontario, and China’s Carl Yuan, who are both T-6 after shooting 3-over 74.