POTOMAC FALLS, Va. – Sam Stevens of Wichita, Kan., was in with a 5-under 66, only to be outdone by the No. 4 junior in the Golfweek Rankings, Brad Dalke.
Dalke of Hobart, Okla., fired a bogey-free 6-under 65 in the first round of the Junior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club – a men’s record on the Championship Tournament Course.
“I played really solid. I hit lots of greens, and lots of fairways,” Dalke said. “It could have been a lot better. I had a lot of putts that just missed, but I’m really happy with it.”
Dalke, who has given a verbal commitment to Oklahoma for 2016, played in the featured grouping Tuesday with Zachary Bauchou and Benjamin Griffin.
“It’s always nice to play in the featured group,” Dalke said. “They are really good guys. They just kept me calm. It was a fun group to be in.”
Dalke’s bogey-free round almost came to an end on No. 7, but he salvaged par with a 20-footer after finding the bunker.
Stevens, No. 31 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, hit his wedges really well as he converted six birdies in the first round.
“The greens are perfect right now, so if you can get the rock rolling, then you can make birdies out there,” Stevens said.
Stevens qualified for the Junior PGA via his victory at Mirimichi, part of the PGA Junior Series in May.
For the most part, Stevens has flown under the radar. He doesn’t play in the high-end junior events week in and week out, but he plays a lot.
Stevens was the 2012 Kansas Junior Player of the Year, becoming the first father (Charlie) /son duo to win this accolade in the state. Before the year came to an end, Stevens verbally committed to play college golf at Oklahoma State in 2014.
“What’s not to say, Oklahoma State has great tradition,” he said. “I look forward to going.”
Let the rivalry begin and continue: Sooners vs. Cowboys.