Jake Griffin, from Kensington, and Joseph Hemsley, from Bethesda, were in the first and last morning groups off the first tee and their respective scores of 72 and 70 still had them at the top of the leader board at the end of the opening round of the 60th Bobby Gorin Memorial Junior tournament at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, July 23.
Hemsley birdied two of the first three holes, offset them with bogeys to be even after nine, then had four birdies, two bogeys on the back to complete a round of 36-34. Griffin followed with a more erratic 33-39, as he birdied Nos. 7-8-9 to go with an earlier birdie and bogey, but the second nine was less kind as it included one birdie, two bogeys, and a double bogey.
Their 16-18 age group played the par-72 North Course at 6,940 yards, while the 14-15 division negotiated 6,525 yards, and the 13-under division, 6,210 yards.
Akash Marakath, from Ellicott City, led the 14-15 group with 74, followed by Bryan Kim, from Brookeville, and Jake Roth, from Rockville, at 75, while Jack Stamato, from Severna Park, was out front in the 13-unders with a 75. Earlier this year, Kim won the Maryland State Juniors and was second in the Middle School division of the Schoolboy, while Stamato was first in the Maryland State Junior 13-under division using a late birdie to avoid a playoff.
For the first time in three years, weather was not a factor during play, and is expected to be nice the rest of the week. Today (July 24) will be the final qualifying round, followed by breaking the three classes into match play brackets of 16 for the two older groups, and eight for the youngest one.
Two rounds on July 25 will set up the 13-under final July 25 in the morning. The two older age-groups are scheduled to play their semifinals in the morning and the finals in the afternoon.
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The tournament is conducted by the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association.