Ariya Jutanugarn took the solo lead at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship Wednesday, posting a second consecutive 3-under 68 to go two shots up on Yueer Cindy Feng.
Jutanugarn birdied two of her last three holes to get to 6-under 136 and take the upper hand into Thursday’s final round at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C. The 14-year-old knows a thing or two about playing – and beating – the best junior players in the country after knocking off Alexis Thompson in the Round of 16 at last year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior.
Feng, who had a share of the lead after Round 1, backed up to a 70 in Round 2 and is in second at 4-under 138. Feng is chasing a second consecutive invitational victory after winning the Thunderbird International Junior in a playoff last month.
Anne Cheng (69) and Kyung Kim (71) are tied for third at even-par 142, with first-round co-leader Manuela Carbajo Re (75) in fifth.
Victoria Tanco, the top-ranked player in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings, followed a first-round 70 with a 9-over 80 in Round 2 after a triple bogey, double bogey and four bogeys on the day.