POTOMOC FALLS, Va. –– Just as there is in the girls division, there’s a new leader in the boy division at the Junior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club Washington D.C. Jacob Solomon of Dublin, Calif., holds the third-round lead after a 4-under 67.
“I am really happy with my round,” Solomon said. “I hit a lot of greens, which gave me a bunch of opportunities to score out there.”
Solomon credited his ball striking on Thursday, which allowed him to take the 54-hole lead (9-under 204) by one shot over Tyler McDaniel of Manchester, Ky. Brad Dalke, the 36-hole leader, shot a 1-under 70 and sits in third place at 7 under.
“My ball striking kept it together,” Solomon said.
When he had those opportunities, he took full advantage. All five of his birdies were within 15 feet of the cup.
His only hiccup came at the 18th, where he three-putted from the opposite side of the green. He said the three-putt doesn’t deflate him, though, because he made his fair share of putts throughout the third round.
Solomon likes playing with the lead. In 2012, he led three tournaments – the AJGA’s Junior All-Star at Gainey Ranch, the AJGA’s Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau Junior All-Star and the Northern California’s JTNC Summer Series IV – and won them all.
He hopes to make it 4-for-4 on Friday.
“I feel confident there (in the lead),” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Right on his heels is McDaniel, who fired a bogey-free 6-under 65 to tie the Tournament Championship course record set by Dalke during the first round.
McDaniel, No. 27 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, said he didn’t hit a shot he didn’t like other than his opening tee shot, which only missed the fairway by 5 yards.
“So it was that type of day,” McDaniel said.
Even after missing the fairway, McDaniel went on to birdie Nos. 1-2. He also dropped in birdies on Nos. 6 and 10 before finishing strong with birdies on Nos. 17-18.
“I didn’t have anything to lose,” McDaniel said. “I’m not the one with a lead.
“I feel really confident right now. I don’t know about (another) 65, but I feel really confident (about Saturday).”
Nine players are within four shots of the lead in the boys division, which could make for a fun ending to this championship.