Building a Cushion

Building a Cushion

Posted on June 13, 2017

Davis Bryant of Aurora opened up a three-stroke lead in the boys competition and Hailey Schalk of Erie went up by a whopping nine shots in the girls tournament after Tuesday's second round of the Colorado Junior PGA Championship, the first major of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado's 2017 season.

Bryant, a 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier, shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday despite playing his last six holes in 3 over par at Eisernhower Golf Club's Blue Course at the Air Force Academy. After a three-birdie, three-bogey day, the 17-year-old who has verbally committed to play his college golf at Colorado State University stands at 2-under 142 going into Wednesday's final round. Bryant (pictured) is looking for his second win of the JGAC Tour season as he captured the title by nine strokes in the Todd Creek tournament last month.

Dillon Stewart of Fort Collins, one of the runners-up at the JGAC major that was held at Eisenhower last year, is Bryant's closest pursuer, at 145 after a 73 on Tuesday that included five birdies but also a triple bogey.

The next-best boys competitor is seven back of Bryant, with Barrett Jones of Eagle holding down third place at 149 after a second-round 75.

In the girls tournament, Schalk continued on her tear, having won the 3A girls state high school title as a freshman and then becoming the first Coloradan to capture a championship at the Hale Irwin Colorado Junior by Transamerica last week.

Despite a 4-over-par 76 on Tuesday, Schalk expanded her lead to nine, with a 3-over 147 total. She made three birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey on Tuesday.

Charlotte Hillary of Cherry Hills Village, the runner-up to Schalk at both the 3A state tournament and the AJGA event, moved into a share of second place at 156 with 4A state high school champ Lauren Lehigh of Loveland. Hillary posted a 78 on Tuesday and Lehigh a 79, with each managing just one birdie in round 2.

The top 31 boys and 15 girls after 36 holes made the cut and will compete on Wednesday. The boys leaders will tee off for the final round at 9:45 a.m., with the girls starting at 9:36.

The top two finishers in both the boys and girls fields will qualify for the national Junior PGA Championships at the Country Club of St. Albans near St. Louis, set for July 18-21 (girls) and July 31-Aug. 3 (boys).

For scores from the Colorado Junior PGA, click on the following:BOYS,GIRLS.

By, Gary Baines 6/13/17