Connelly grabs share of lead at Junior Players

Austin Connelly shares the first-round lead at the Junior Players Championship with Maxwell Miller.

Boys Rankings »

#NameYearStateRating
1Andy Zhang2016FL67.73
2Robin Wang2017FL67.97
3Brad Dalke2016OK68.63
4David Snyder2016TX69.73
5Cheng Jin2016Intl69.85

Austin Connelly has had a pretty eventful summer.

The 17-year-old from Irving, Texas, won his first AJGA invitational at the FootJoy Invitational in June. He competed at the U.S. Junior and U.S. Amateur, and contended at the Junior PGA. He also announced he was re-considering his commitment to SMU after Mustangs head coach Josh Gregory resigned in August.

Now, he's in position to win on one of junior golf's biggest stages.

Connelly, Golfweek's fifth-ranked junior, opened with a 3-under 69 Friday at TPC Sawgrass' Players Stadium Course to grab a share of the first-round lead at the Junior Players Championship. Maxwell Miller of College Station, Texas, also shot 69.

One of Connelly's five birdies came at the par-3 17th. Miller also made five birdies, including on Nos. 16 and 18.

Andreas Halvorsen of Norway, who made the quarterfinals of the U.S. Junior, is tied for third with Joshua Martin at 2 under. Sam Horsfield and Philip Barbaree each carded 71s.

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