Wagner leads Junior PGA with course-record 67
POTOMAC FALLS, Va. – Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., leads the girls division at the Junior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club after posting 4-under 67 on Tuesday morning.
Wagner’s 67 is a competitive course record because of the unique routing of holes from the Championship and River courses. The layout has been dubbed the Championship Tournament Course for the week.
Wagner began the day on No. 11 and made an 8-foot birdie putt there to point her round in the right direction.
“When I had a birdie chance, I made it,” added Wagner.
She proceeded to make four more birdies on Nos. 14, 2, 3 and 10.
On No. 10, the tees were moved up to allow players to go for the green in two.
As she teed off, Donald Trump was on hand to watch. As soon as she swung, Trump's phone rang loudly. Wagner and the rest of her group – Kelly Whaley and Celia Kuenster – laughed it off and she turned to them saying, “Thank goodness I swing fast or that would have gone off in my backswing.”
It didn’t matter, it was right down the middle. She tried to go for the green in two, but came up just a bit short. She had a side-hill lie below the green and stuck her chip shot to a foot.
“It (my putting) was pretty good, but I’d have to say my short game was better because when I had to get it close, I definitely did,” Wagner said.
The 2012 Junior PGA runner-up added that she loves this tournament.
“I think it’s the name,” the Florida commit said. “The PGA always runs these tournaments the best. I love the people, the volunteers and the staff. Just everything.”
And she loves the course, too.
“I compare it a lot to Sycamore Hills (site of the 2012 Junior PGA and last week's U.S. Girls’ Junior). It is my favorite course so coming out here, it’s amazing. It’s in good shape and it’s a really tough course.”
Kuriko Tsukiyama of West New York, N.J., sits in second, two shots behind Wagner, after a 2-under 69.
Tsukiyama was 4 under at one point but made back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14.
“I just lost my focus a bit," she said. "I missed the green and then some short putts, but it’s scoreable. You have to make pars on the long par 4s, but once you get past those, if you're in the fairway you can attack.”