South Beach International Amateur

Widing, Whalen share South Beach Amateur lead

Swedish juniors and American college players packed the top of the leaderboard of the South Beach International Amateur, which began Thursday at Normandy Shores Golf Club and Miami Beach Golf Club.

At Normandy Shores, a trio of Tres Kronor players — Tim Widing (4-under-par 66), Victor Theandersson and Felix Kvarnstrom (each 2-under 68) — set the early standard. Widing’s score, matched later at Normandy by Northwestern sophomore Andrew Whalen, held up for a share of the tournament lead.

Down at Miami Beach Golf Club, Vanderbilt sophomore Carson Jacobs birdied his way across the final three holes for a 4-under 67, also putting him in a tie for the lead.

“I hit 16 greens,” Jacobs said. “The two holes I did miss, I left myself in good spots. I just didn’t get up and down, just a bad chip. Overall, I think I played the course the right way.”

SMU sophomore Bryson DeChambeau got to a 3-under 68 at Miami Beach with his own strong finish, dropping birdies on three of the last four holes.

“I knew that under par was going to be OK, you’d be right there because it’s really windy,” DeChambeau said. “It can be a tough course when it’s windy.”

Friday’s play again will be split over two courses. Those who played Normandy Shores on Thursday play Miami Beach on Friday and vice versa.

After a cut to 72 players (plus ties), the final two rounds are Saturday and Sunday at Miami Beach.

The tournament includes 23 juniors, 20 of whom are international players, including the Swedish Junior National Team and the French Junior National Team as well as those nations’ national teams.

The group at 68 also included France’s Mathieu Decottignies, who played at Miami Beach, and Ole Miss’ Blake Morris, who played at Normandy Shores.

Last year, Morris opened with a 69 at Normandy Shores before scorching Miami Beach for a course-record 63 in last year’s second round.

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