TROY — Two years ago, the Junior City was absent.
Last year, the tournament made its return, and Troy Moore ran away with the title.
After Thursday’s opening round, Moore is in a similar position, shooting an impressive 74 to take a three-stroke lead at the 2014 Junior City Golf Championships at Miami Shores Golf Course.
The defending champion kicked things off with a 35 on the front nine — matching his tournament-best nine-hole score from last year — and shot 39 on the back half to finish with 74 on the day. Last year, Moore shot 75 on the tournament’s opening day and finished with a 72 in the final round, turning a four-stroke lead after one round into a 15-stroke victory.
Payton Wheat sits in second place with an opening-round 77. He shot 40 on the front nine but made a strong run on the back with a 37 to get back into contention. Moore and Wheat were the only two golfers to shoot sub-80 scores on the day.
But that’s not to say the rest of the field is out of reach. Holden Scribner shot a consistent 40-40 and is in third place with 80. Grant Kasler is right behind in fourth, shooting 41-40 for an 81, while Luke Schroeder shot 43-41 and is in fifth with 84.
Connor Hockett shot 51-44—95 and is in sixth, LeeAnn Black shot 50-50—100 and Andrew Magoteaux shot 49-56—105 to round out the eight-player field.
Last year, only six players took part in the tournament in one age division. Two years ago, the tournament did not take place after years of dropping participation numbers finally caught up with it. In 2011, only 11 players took part in two different age division. The jump from six to eight players from 2013 to this year marks the first year-to-year increase in years.
The final round begins today at 10 a.m. at Miami Shores.