The first round of the American Junior Golf Association’s Circle K Junior Championship hosted by Otter Creek featured a two-hour lightning delay that most of the four local competing golfers said didn’t affect them much.
Recent Columbus North graduate Danbi Kim and incoming North sophomore Nathaly Munnicha managed to stay focused enough to shoot 5-over-par 77s that put them in a tie for 17th place in the girls competition. Both golfers are seven strokes behind first-place Kornkamol Sukaree of Huntington Beach, California.
Kim ended the front nine with a 6-over 42. She played an even back nine before the delay before playing the last five holes in 1-under-par once it was over.
“The funny thing is, I actually played better after the delay,” Kim said. “So I guess it kind of helped me … Most of my problems from the front nine mostly came from just one bad shot that I never really recovered from, so I’ll definitely try to keep it cleaner (today).
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Munnicha went 2-over on the front nine and 3-over on the back nine. She started her day with a birdie, but said it didn’t go how she wanted after that. However, a 77 is around the score she expected.
“I could be better, but a 77, I’m OK with that,” Munnicha said. “(Today), I’m going to keep it in the fairway. The rough — that’s so long, but I’ll try to keep it in the fairway and keep playing golf.”
Columbus East incoming sophomore Kody Reynolds carded a 2-over 74 to put him in a tie for 39th place, while North incoming senior Kiel ended the first day with a 6-over 78 for a 78th-place tie. Matt Camel of Greenwich, Connecticut leads all boys with a 7-under 65.
Reynolds was looking at a 15-foot putt right before the delay. He had two hours to think about it and nailed the shot once he resumed play.
“My first AJGA — a pretty big tournament,” Reynolds said. “I played pretty well, lost a few strokes on the back, but a 74 is not too bad for my first AJGA tournament.”
Reynolds posted a a 1-over 37 on both the front and back nines. Kiel had three of his five birdies in on the front nine to help post a 37 and had a 41 on the back nine. Both golfers teed off on the 10th hole.
“Putting was pretty good,” Kiel said. “I made a lot of six-footers, which was good. Irons weren’t the best but they were playable. I just need to hit more greens (today), and I should be good.”
The field will be cut in half — to the top 51 boys and top 21 girls — following today’s second round. The final round will be on Thursday.
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Leaderboards for the Circle K Junior Championship hosted by Otter Creek
1. Matt Camel;Greenwich, Conn.;65
2. Alexander Yang;Carlsbad, Calif.;66
T3. Drew Wrightson;Zionsville;68
T3. Connor Belcastro;Rowayton, Conn.;68
T39. Kody Reynolds;Columbus;74
T78. Henry Kiel;Columbus;78
1. Kornkamol Sukaree;Huntington Beach, Calif.;70
2. Brianne Bolden;Mokena, Ill.;72
T3. Jenn David;Hudson, Ohio;73
T3. Manhua Chen;Howey in the Hills, Fla.;73
T17. Danbi Kim;Columbus;77
T17. Nathaly Munnicha;Columbus;77