Hailee Cooper posts record-tying 64 for early Girls Junior PGA Championship lead

Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

Hailee Cooper posts record-tying 64 for early Girls Junior PGA Championship lead

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Hailee Cooper posts record-tying 64 for early Girls Junior PGA Championship lead

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Hailee Cooper fired a bogey-free 8-under 64 on Tuesday at the Girls Junior PGA Championship to take early control of the tournament.

The Country Club of St. Albans (Mo.) was amenable to red numbers in the opening round, as 33 players broke par. Lauren Beaudreau and Yealimi Noh are tied for second at 6 under, with three more players tie for fourth at 5 under.

Cooper’s 64 tied the lowest 18-hole score in Girls Junior PGA Championship history, matching the exploits of Mariel Galdiano (2016), Yujeong Son (2015), Leigh Anne Hardin (1999) and Virada Nirapathpongporn (1999).

“There’s so many good players in this event and so many great past champions,” Cooper said. “It’s really cool to tie this record.”

Cooper, of Montgomery, Texas, is a University of Texas commit and No. 9 in the Class of 2018 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. She finished the Girls Junior PGA Championship tied for eighth in 2016. Cooper finished T-18 last month at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship.

Lucy Li, the defending champion, opens in 4-under 68 to finish in a tie for seventh. Elizabeth Wang, the 2015 winner, is four back in a tie for 12th at 3 under.

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