Top three Golfweek junior boys grouped together at U.S. Junior Amateur

Akshay Bhatia, valspar

Top three Golfweek junior boys grouped together at U.S. Junior Amateur

Golf

Top three Golfweek junior boys grouped together at U.S. Junior Amateur

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The top three junior boys in Golfweek’s rankings will tee off together in the first two rounds of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship next week at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Akshay Bhatia, Ricky Castillo and Karl Vilips — who rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively — get underway at 8:28 a.m. on the 10th hole Monday. The group tees off at 1:53 p.m. on the first hole for round two at the 7,339-yard, par-71 course.

On July 15 and 16, the 156-player field will compete in 36 holes of stroke play, with the low 64 scorers moving onto a match play event leading to a 36-hole final on July 20.

Bhatia plans to skip college golf and turn professional once he turns 18 at the end of January 2020. The Wake Forest, N.C., native has won the Jones Cup Invitational and Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship this year after a dominant 2018, including his second straight Junior PGA Championship victory.

Castillo, from Yorba Linda, Calif., is a Florida commit and earned first-team Rolex Junior All-American honors for 2018, along with Bhatia and Vilips. Vilips, who is from Australia, earned gold for his country at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires. Bhatia finished with a silver medal.

The pair will be back together at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship next week, an event Bhatia finished runner-up in last year to Michael Thorbjornsen, who is No. 11 in Golfweek’s rankings.

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