FORT WAYNE, Ind. — J.B. Williams of Danville and Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand both tied Sycamore Hills Golf Club competitive course records and grabbed opening-round leads Tuesday at the 37th Junior PGA Championship.
Williams had a two-stroke lead in the boys' division after an opening-round 7-under-par 65. Jutanugarn, the defending champion in the girls' division, grabbed a one-stroke lead after a 66.
The 72-hole championship, being staged for the third consecutive year at Sycamore Hills, features a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties, following the third round of play on Thursday.
Williams, who qualified for the Junior PGA Championship by winning the 2012 Kentucky Junior PGA Championship, made eight birdies to lead Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., and Cameron Champ of Sacramento, Calif., who both opened with a 67.
"It was a career day today," said Williams, 17. "I got hot on the front nine and kept it going on the back."
Williams' only error came at the par-4 10th hole.
"I made a small mistake and bogeyed 10, which slowed me down a bit," Williams, a senior at Danville, said. "But I got back on track with a birdie at 13. It felt good to bounce back."
Early-morning thunderstorms in the Fort Wayne area caused a two-hour delay, which softened the golf course and allowed Williams to be more aggressive.
"The rain delay this morning was a big factor," said Williams. "The greens were firm during the practice round, but today most of the guys were able to shoot at the pins and there were lots of low scores."
Liu, who is the only member of the 2012 Junior PGA Championship to have competed on the winning 2010 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team, opened with four birdies on his front nine.
Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo, Calif., opened with a 68, and is tied with Tyler McDaniel of Manchester, two strokes off the pace.
Hossler has competed in the last two U.S. Open Championships, finishing in a tie for 29th in June at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Golf Channel will present a one-hour highlight show of the 37th Junior PGA Championship, with the first airing on Sept. 17.