Around the Green
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Wylie Leads Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship
DALLAS – Charlie Wylie from Houston went 4-under in his final three holes Tuesday at Lakewood Country Club to take a one-shot lead after round one of the 2023 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship. Wylie, a rising senior at Memorial High School, shot a 7-under-par 64 that included a bogey-free scorecard.
“Putts were falling. I just kept giving myself opportunities,” Wylie said of his first round. “The course was in good shape and very scorable. So, I just kind of took advantage of the holes I could and made pars on the others and kept rolling.”
Sitting one shot back in a tie for second are Frisco’s Davis Ovard and Richmond’s Mitchell Maier after carding rounds of 6-under 65. Maier made birdie on his final two holes while Ovard made three in a row to close things out.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Maier said about his first round. “Tomorrow, I’m just looking to put it in the middle of the greens again.”
Back-to-back defending champion Preston Stout of Richardson sits tied for fourth with three others after a solid effort of 4-under 67. Elkhorn, Nebraska’s Trevor Gutschewski, Byungho Lee of Plano, and Selma’s Shiv Parmar join Stout at three back of the lead through one round.
“I feel good,” Stout said of beginning his title defense. “It was kind of tough going back out there after the lightning delay but made birdie on 17 and a solid easy par on 18.”
Stout, who successfully defended his title last year, has an opportunity to join elite company this year. If Stout can cap off the “threepeat,” he will tie Jordan Spieth’s record of three consecutive Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship victories.
Three players share eighth place at 3-under 68. Plano’s Rhett O’Rear, Prosper’s Ryan Shellberg, and Daniel Zou of The Woodlands are all four shots behind Wylie headed into Wednesday’s second round of the prestigious 54-hole championship.
Four players sit tied for eleventh at 2-under par as the rest of the field chases a piece of Texas golf history.
Tuesday’s weather was nice in the morning with comfortable temperatures and partly cloudy skies. The afternoon had other plans though. Round one was delayed to due storms in the area. Play stopped at 2:03 PM and then resumed at 5:22 PM.
For the third time in tournament history, the LJT conducted a Monday Qualifier for the final four spots into the 84-player field. Collin Alstrin from Prosper won the Qualifier with a 2-under 69. Fort Worth’s Sam Bumgardner and Spring’s Asher Vargas both carded rounds of 1-under 70. The last spot in the qualifier was secured by Patrick Babb who shot an even-par 71.
The Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship has received registration entries from more than 350 juniors from across the state in each of the past few years.
“The Monday Qualifier has been a great addition to the event because of the demand for entries,” said Scott Davidson, LJT Tournament Director. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback regarding the qualifier the past few years.”
Round 2 of the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship starts Wednesday at 8 a.m. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.