Springing Into Action

Matthew Wilkinson leads boys tourney, while Katelyn Lehigh and Emma Bryant share top spot among girls at Colorado Junior PGA

By Gary Baines – 6/28/2021

It’s been a very eventful last couple of weeks for top junior golfers in Colorado, and that certainly includes the leaders after Monday’s opening round of the Colorado Junior PGA, the first major championship on the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado’s 2021 schedule.

Setting the pace in the boys competition at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs is Matthew Wilkinson of Centennial, who on Thursday qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur.

And sharing the top spot in the girls tournament are Katelyn Lehigh of Loveland, who last Tuesday won the 5A girls state high school title, and former 5A state champ Emma Bryant of Aurora, who is in the midst of playing nine rounds of high-level tournament golf in a 10-day stretch.

Wilkinson, the 2020 Colorado Junior Match Play champion, shot a 3-under-par 68 and holds a one-stroke lead in the boys event. He eagled the par-4 seventh hole and added five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.

Only two other boys finished under par out of the field of 60 on Monday: former 5A boys state high school champ Will Kates of Centennial (69) and Charlie Flaxbeard of Greenwood Village (70).

On the girls side, both of the co-leaders overcame a double bogey to fire 2-over-par 73s. Bryant, a University of Denver signee who is seeking her third JGAC major title, carded two birdies, two bogeys and a double. Lehigh posted the exact same totals.

Jessica Mason of Westminster, who captured the 4A girls state high school title last week, and Sofia Choi of Littleton share third place at 74.

The 54-hole tournaments — both boys and girls — will continue through Wednesday.

At stake will not only be boys and girls championship titles, but two spots in each tournament for the national Boys Junior PGA and Girls Junior PGA. The boys national championship is set for July 12-15 in Lexington, Ky., while the girls tourney is scheduled for July 27-30 in Louisville, Ky.

For all the scores from the Colorado Junior PGA click on the following: BOYS, GIRLS.