Local Juniors Competing Nationally

Wes Erling opens with 74 to lead Colorado contingent at U.S. Junior Amateur; 2 Coloradans record top-10 finishes in first phase of Optimist International Junior

By Gary Baines – 7/19/2021

Two Coloradans are in the top third of the field after Monday’s opening round of the U.S. Junior Amateur in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

Wes Erling of Colorado Springs was the top local after round 1 as he shot a 2-over-par 74 at the Dogwood Course at the Country Club of North Carolina, leaving him in 59th place out of 264 contestants.

And Matthew Wilkinson of Centennial, the Colorado Junior PGA champion this year, shot a 3-over 74 at the Cardinal Course to check in at 79th.

Erling, winner of the JGAC Tour Championship last fall, made four birdies and six bogeys on the day, while Wilkinson chalked up two birdies, two bogeys and a triple bogey on No. 13, his third hole of the day.

Players will need to finish in the top 64 after Tuesday’s final round of stroke play to advance to the match-play portion of the event, which starts on Wednesday. 

Erling and Wilkinson competed last week at the IMG Academy Junior World Championships in San Diego, where they placed 61st and 53rd, respectively, out of a 207-player field.

U.S. Junior Amateur (264-player field)

At The Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

(Colorado Players and JGAC Members)

59. Wes Erling, Colorado Springs 74 (+2)

79. Matthew Wilkinson, Centennial 74 (+3)

115. Parker Paxton, Riverton, Wyo. 76 (+4)

139. Jeff Nelson, Commerce City 76 (+5)

196. Hunter Swanson, Denver 79 (+8)

259. Jonathan Trigg, Cherry Hills Village 85 (+14)

For all the scores from the U.S. Junior Am, CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship in Miami wrapped up on Sunday, and two Coloradans posted top-10 finishes in their respective age/gender divisions.

Addison Hines of Arvada placed sixth out of 32 competitors in girls 10-12. She went 81-78-74 for a 17-over-par total of 233, which left her 18 strokes behind champion Abigail Lin of Folsom, Calif.

And Gavin Amella of Castle Rock ended up seventh out of 77 players in the boys 12-13 division. Amelia carded scores of 73-82-71 for a 10-over-par total of 226. He ended up 11 strokes behind winner Franco Fernandez of Paraguay.

Here are the results for all the Coloradans who competed in the first phase:

Boys 12-13 (77-Player Field)

7. Gavin Amella, Castle Rock 73-82-71–226

19. Brayden Destefano, Peyton 78-75-82–235

24. Clint Summers III, Fort Collins 80-75-83–238

36. Andre Dumonteil, Centennial 82-77-84—243

43. Collen Todd, Golden 85-79-85–249

55. Campbell McFadden, Denver 86-85-85—256

55. Sean Cary, Erie 85-82-89–256

72. Will Sallee, Loveland 93-93-88—274

Boys 10-11 (41-Player Field)

15. Gage Poulsen, Timnath 85-87-80–252

17. Hudson Stutzman, Denver 89-82-85–256

25. Levi McDowell, Loveland 88-91-88–267

28. Jeffrey Chen, Aurora 92-88-96–276

30. Hudson Rozga, Eagle 91-98-89—278

31. Grady Anaka, Erie 93-97-92—282

34. Pierce Johnson, Boulder 98-96-95–289

35. Luke Armstrong, Castle Rock 95-105-97–297

Girls 10-12 (32-Player Field)

6. Addison Hines, Arvada 81-78-74–233

24. Ella Scott, Castle Rock 93-96-86–275

Upcoming at the Optimist are stage 2 (girls 13-14 and boys 14-15) and stage 3 (girls 15-18 and boys 16-18).