Philip Barbaree, just a junior in high school in Shreveport, Louisiana, and already committed to LSU on a golf scholarship, moved into a tie for the lead Sunday after the first round of the South Beach International Amateur Championship, the 14-ranked amateur tournament in the world.
Barbaree, who shot a 68 at the par-71 Miami Beach Golf Club, is tied with Andy Zhang, from China and headed to the University of Florida, who turned in a 67 at the par-70 Normandy Shores Golf Club. That left them both at 3-under-par. Barbaree will play Normandy Shores on Mondaywhile Zhang switches over to Miami Beach.
On Sunday, both were smacking shots into gusty and blustery winds that made scoring much less than ideal — well, for everybody else in the field, not so much for them.
“Yes, it was a little windy out there,” Barbaree said in a gross understatement. “You deal with it, and I’ve been playing in the wind lately.”
Of late, Barbaree — who won the U.S. Junior Amateur this year — has been on a roll. He also won an American Junior Golf Association tournament in Oregon by 24 strokes, a feat nearly unheard of since the AJGA is the top echelon of America’s best junior golfers.
“That victory gave me a lot of confidence,” Barbaree said. “It showed me how much my potential was.”
It also sent nearly every college golf coach in the country scurrying to recruit him.
Sorry, guys, you had no chance. Barbaree is not changing his mind about attending LSU.
“I like the coach a lot,” he said, “and my friends are going there. And I have always been a big LSU football fan.”
Sealing the deal. His sister (a non-golfer) is already attending LSU, and, yes, they get along just fine.
“It’s perfect for me,” Barbaree said.
▪ Dixie Amateur Men’s Championship: Men’s play at Heron Bay Golf Club was halted because of darkness on the second day. One of the players not finishing was Ben Feld, who had a 5-under 67 on the first day.
Of those completing Sunday’s second round, there was a five-way tie for the lead at 140: Hannes Ronnebald (71-69), Marcus Svennson (69-71), Ryan Blair (69-71), Hampos Bergman (68-72) and Bryson Nimmer (67-73).
BILL VAN SMITH
On Day 5 of the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, No. 9 seed Naomi Cheong of Las Vegas upset top-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3 6-3 in a two-hour quarterfinal match at the University of Miami. Cheong advances to the semifinals where she will face unseeded Loudmilla Bencheikh of France, who upset No. 6 seed Anastasia Tikhonova of Russia 3-6 7-5 6-0.
The other semifinal features No. 5 seed Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine and unseeded Yuki Naito of Japan. Kostyuk defeated ninth-seeded Oana Corneanu of Romania 6-1 7-5, while Naito defeated American Gabriella Price 6-0 6-3.
On the boys’ side, 14U No. 1 seed Thiago Tirante of Argentina rolled to a 6-1 6-2 victory over 17th seeded Mateus Alves of Brazil to advance to the semis. Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Timofey Skatov of Russia defeated unseeded Liam Draxl of Canada 6-2 6-1. The other boys semifinal will be between two 17 seeds: Anton Matusevich of Great Britain and Seon Yong Han of Korea. Matusevich advanced with a 6-3 2-6 6-1 victory over No. 3 seed Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan, and Han advanced with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win over seventh-seeded Briton Jack Draper.
▪ Sharks Holiday Classic — No. 10 Nova Southeastern women 78, Albany State 63: Taylor Buie scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Sharks (11-1) over the Rams (2-8).
▪ Boca Raton Holiday Classic — Barry men 92, Southern Nazarene 78: Yunio Barrueta scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Buccaneers (8-2) past the Crimson Storm late Saturday night.