The name of the tournament is the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship, and after Monday’s second round at Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables the emphasis in that title should certainly be placed on the “International.”
There were three leaders — one in boys and two tied in girls — after the second round, and they represent three different countries.
Tied for the girls’ lead was Emilia Migliaccio of Cary, North Carolina, and she was joined at the top with Euikyung Shin of South Korea. In the boys’ division, Norway’s Kristoffer Reitan was on top of the leaderboard.
Migliaccio, 16 and a junior in high school who makes straight A’s, has had rounds of 68-70 for a 4-under-par 138, and Shin has shot 69-69—138. They hold a two-shot advantage over Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland.
Even though she has more than a year to go in high school, Migliaccio knows where golf is taking her, and that would be to Wake Forest for college, where she will major in communication rhetoric and minor in English. Wake Forest became the school of choice when she went to a golf camp there at age 12.
No matter where golf takes her, Migliaccio definitely wants to be an author and has already started writing her first book — some 50,000 words so far, and it is called Just an Illusion. What isn’t an illusion is Migliaccio’s love of golf and desire to eventually become a member of the LPGA Tour.
“Golf is wonderful,” she said, “You learn so much more than a game, and you meet so many good people.”
Playing with Migliaccio on Tuesday will be Shin, who is getting accustomed to and quite adept at playing on Florida’s flat courses. An 11th-grader in Korea, Shin said she is used to hilly courses. “We have nice courses in Korea,” she said, “but some of them are on mountainsides.”
Like Migliaccio, Shin has a long-range goal of the LPGA Tour, and both girls also have in common that they are playing in their first OB Junior International.
In the boys’ division, Reitan, 17, has a three-shot lead over Sachin Kumar of Port St. Lucie. Reitan is at 5-under 137 after rounds of 70-67. Kumar, originally from Trinidad & Tobago, is at 72-68—140.
Reitan started playing golf at age 5, and freely admitted, “I didn’t know what I was doing.”
He does now, making it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur and winning the Norwegian Junior Championship.
Reitan has a simplistic approach to golf.
“Playing badly and playing well, golf can be two different sports,” he said philosophically.
“Today, it was the fun golf I was playing.”