Given her druthers, Lily May Humphreys would just as soon play in calm conditions.
That doesn’t mean, though, she can’t hold her own when the breezes turn gusty. She is English, after all.
“I don’t like wind that much,” Humphreys said Friday, “but I guess I’m rather good at knocking it ’round a bit. Keeping it in play, giving myself chances, keeping bogeys off the card.”
She did all that and more in the third round of the 54th Junior Orange Bowl International, carding a 5-under-par 66 that was the week’s best among girls — and two off the boys’ lowest — and left her within a pitch and putt of the tournament record book.
Humphreys completed 54 holes at the historic Biltmore Golf Course in 11-under 202, opening up a 10-shot gap between her and Japan’s Goto Miyu in second. No girls’ champion in modern times has finished at double digits under par.
“I just stuck to my [own game] and played each hole by itself,” she said.
The boys’ division also threatened to go into cruise control, though Jerry Ji’s five-shot advantage seems almost tight by comparison. The Dutch teen made only two bogeys on his card, posting a solid 69 to increase his lead over France’s Pierre Pineau.
“I just tried to make good pars on the tougher holes,” said Ji, who reached the three-round checkpoint at 15-under. He also was in range of record territory after opening rounds of 64-65, though James Vargas’ mark of 23-under in 2001 now would appear safe.
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Miami’s Leopoldo Herrera had the day’s best round with a 65, including a back-nine 31 that vaulted him into a share of third.
Miyu didn’t make a birdie until her final hole Friday, but it was enough to card a 1-over 72 and nudge ahead of Mexico’s Cory Lopez (73) for second at 1-under. They are the only other girls at even-par or better for the tournament.
Humphreys, who said her previous largest 54-hole lead was seven shots, said she’ll try to focus on her game and not on others.
Ji’s home course in the Netherlands is a links layout, so he’s rather accustomed to playing in windy conditions. He carded two birdies in his first five holes and was still 2-under for the day until a bogey at No.12. His highlight for the day, though, was a par save. Facing a 45-footer at No. 15 to avoid his third bogey in a four-hole stretch, he made the putt.
Italy’s Andrea Romano (70) and Belgium’s Adrien Dumont de Chassart (72) were tied for third with Herrera.