Proveaux leads Spieth by five at HP Boys

Cody Proveaux during the first round of the HP Boys Championship.

Cody Proveaux during the first round of the HP Boys Championship.

Boys Rankings »

#NameYearStateRating
1Scott Scheffler2014TX67.35
2Zecheng Dou2015CA67.84
3Andy Zhang2016FL68.41
4Austin Connelly2015TX68.5
5Brad Dalke2016OK68.54

1.) Walking the walk

After winning the Polo Junior Classic in November for his first AJGA invitational title, Cody Proveaux was so bold as to say, “I realize now that I am one of the best players.” In his first chance to back that quote up, Proveaux was the best player at the season-opening HP Boys Championship on Saturday – and it wasn’t even close.

Proveaux, No. 30 in the Golfweek Junior Rankings, opened with a 7-under 65 at the lengthy Club at Carlton Woods to lead playing partner Jordan Spieth (70).

“He’s just really consistent,” Spieth said of Proveaux. “He knew where the best miss was and he kept it in the fairway all day. Even his misses were on the green with uphill putts, so he wasn’t going to make any mistakes.”

2.) Spieth says goodbye

Spieth, No. 2 in the Golfweek Junior Rankings, is making his final AJGA start this week at the HP. Spieth, who will attend the University of Texas in the fall, won the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur and has four AJGA wins to his credit, including two victories at the Ping Invitational.

“I knew my last one was coming up and I wanted to play one this year,” the Dallas native said. “I chose this one being in my home state with a lot of support out here, plus this tournament is just unbelievable. I’ve gotten second the last two years, including a loss in a playoff, so I’ve wanted to win this tournament for a while.

“It is kind of sad that it’s my last AJGA because it started back in eighth grade, but it’s been a lot of great memories, a lot of great friendships. But it’s great to end it in my home state with a lot of support.”

After starting the day 3 over through his first four holes, Spieth rallied back with five birdies and sits in solo second place.

Spieth also announced that the 2011 U.S. Junior at Gold Mountain would be his final junior event.

3.) Looking for his first major

Shun Yat Hak had five top 10s in AJGA invites last year and he’s picking up right where he left off. Thanks to an eagle at the 17th, Hak finished at even-par 72 to grab a share of sixth place and put himself in position to make another run at his first major title.

Hak, No. 7 in the junior rankings, finished T-8 at Carlton Woods last year.

4.) Rough start

It was a tough first round for reigning U.S. Junior champion Jim Liu, who stumbled to an opening 79.

Liu, No. 9 in the Golfweek Junior Rankings, made an 8 on the par-4 fifth hole and a 9 at the par-4 13th. Liu is making his first AJGA start since last September’s Junior Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

5.) Over and out

Tanner Kesterson, Golfweek’s 20th-ranked junior, withdrew during the first round because of a back injury. Kesterson, an Oklahoma State signee, won the 2010 FootJoy Invitational, and as a result, had a chance to play in the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship in August.

Kesterson finished T-51 in last year’s HP Boys Championship.

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