The spring air was once again cut by the swings of some of the nation's top young golfers at Coosa Country Club on Saturday as the Rome Junior Classic got underway.
Hosted by the American Junior Golf Association, the tournament is one of the premier events on the club’s calendar. A total of 70 players make up this year’s field, split into boys’ and girls’ divisions.
Tyler Lipscomb, of Carrollton, shot 4-under on the front nine during the tournament’s second round Saturday afternoon and carded a 5-under 66 to sit alone atop the boys’ leaderboard with a 7-under 135.
Norcross’s Liam Shinn and Nashville, Tennessee’s Jaron Leasure are tied for second at two back, while last year’s boys’ winner Aidan Kramer, from Oviedo, Florida, is fourth at 4-under 138.
Lindsey Cordell is the top local player as he stands in a tie for fifth with a 3-under 139 after shooting 67 Saturday afternoon with four birdies in the round. Cordell is a junior at Darlington and one of six Tigers competing this weekend.
One of his teammates, Scott Spyra, shot 69 for the first round and is 3-over for the tournament and tied for 26th. Rome High sophomore Hogan Ingram is in the top 20 and 1-over 143.
Nicklas Staub, of Boynton Beach, Florida, shot the low score in the first round with a 66 but had a 79 in the afternoon for 3-over. Lipscomb took the second round low score. A total of 14 boys are under par heading into today’s final round.
In the girls’ division, a pair of seniors are tied for the lead at 6-under 136, including 2018 Rome Junior Classic winner Megan Schofill.
Schofill, who is from Monticello, Florida, had five birdies on the front nine of her opening round and went on to finish with a 5-under 66. Her 70 in the afternoon’s Round 2 included birdying three of the five same holes she did earlier in the day.
Joining Schofill atop the girls’ leaderboard is Knoxville, Tennessee’s Alyssa Montgomery, who overcame a double bogey on the par-3 10th in the first round to finish with a 70. She then shot a 66 in the afternoon.
Two back of the leaders is Jillian Bourdage, of Tamarac, Florida, while Ontario, Canada’s Victoria Zheng is in fourth with a 3-under 139. Taylor Kehoe, who is also from Ontario, and Nathaly Munnicha from Columbus, Indiana, are tied for fifth at 2-under 140.
Munnicha birdied three straight holes on the front nine in the second round but came up against it on the back nine, posting two bogeys and a double bogey.
State Mutual Insurance is the presenting sponsor of the tournament, which began in 1996 and was held at the club every year through 2013 before returning in its current incarnation in 2016.