J. Holland Humphries Leads Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship
DALLAS – J. Holland Humphries came into this week with one goal: play with a carefree mindset. On Wednesday, the No. 1 ranked junior golfer in Texas displayed confidence and poise en route to a 7-under-par 64. He leads the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship at Lakewood Country Club by three strokes at 11-under with 18 holes left to play.
“I just tried to not make too much of it today,” Humphries said. “I have kind of had a carefree mindset this entire tournament and I have been working on that.”
The 2021 Southern Methodist University commit walked down the par-5 ninth at even par on the day. After just missing the putting surface in two, Humphries drained a 40-foot eagle putt from the fringe to card 2-under 34 on his opening loop.
“After the eagle, I just kind of got lost and started hitting really good shots,” said Humphries, a senior at Westlake High School.
He birdied six of his next seven holes and would go on to shoot 5-under 30 on the back nine. Humphries sits at 11-under par through 36 holes.
The overnight leader, Daniel Zou of The Woodlands, followed his opening round 7-under-par 64 with a 1-under-par 70. Though he didn’t card seven birdies and an ace in Round 2, the 14-year-old’s consistent ball striking led to another round in red figures. He is 8-under through 36 holes and just three shots back of Humphries.
“My full swing was still really good today,” Zou said. “My plan is to play like it is the first round again and forget all the scores and just focus on my game.”
Gaven Lane of Argyle was not to be forgotten this year. The defending champion fired a bogey-free 7-under-par 64 to climb nine spots up the leaderboard. Since the sixth hole of his opening round, Lane has carded 11 birdies and zero bogeys.
“I mean I hit the ball great and the times I didn’t hit the ball great I scrambled well,” Lane said. “I really just tried to stay calm. Even when I hit bad shots I tried to keep my composure and moved on, hitting the best shots I could.”
The 2023 Oklahoma State University commit is four shots off the lead and will look to become the first back-to-back winner since Jordan Spieth won three in a row between 2008-10.
“It came together and I put together a good round,” Lane said. “Hopefully, I can go low tomorrow and take it away.”
Keaton Vo of Austin is fourth at 6-under-par 136. Zach Heffernan of Fair Oaks Ranch, a 2021 Baylor University commit and 2019 Texas Junior Amateur champion, is fifth at 5-under-par 137.
Cole Sherwood of Austin, a 2020 Vanderbilt University commit, is sixth at 4-under-par 138. Nathan Petronzio of Bee Cave, a 2020 Southern Methodist University commit, is seventh at 3-under-par 139. Jackson Davenport of Austin, a 2020 West Virginia University commit, and Andrew Spaulding of Spring are tied eighth at 2-under-par 140. Dallas Hankamer of Temple, a 2021 Texas A&M University commit, rounds out the top ten at 1-under-par 141.
Following Round 2, the field was cut to the top-39 players and ties (44 players made the cut at 6-over par or better). The final round will begin Thursday at 8:00 a.m. For more information on the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, click here.
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