Agathe Laisne and Karl Vilips put the emphasis on international in the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship on Tuesday at Biltmore Golf Course.
Laisne, from France, led the girls’ division, and Vilips, from Australia, was atop the boys’ division after the first of four rounds. Laisne shot a 4-under-par 67 and Vilips managed a 6-under 65.
Laisne, 17 is in her final year of high school in France and will be attending the University of Texas next fall.
“Five years ago I would have had no idea that I was going to be a Longhorn,” she said with a smile. In fact, she probably didn’t even know what a Longhorn actually was.
What she did know is this: “I visited the school and liked everything about it,” Laisne said.
She’s going to football-crazy Texas, but never has been to a college football game?
“Never been to a football game of any kind,” she said. “But I’ll become a fan.”
This will be Laisne’s last attempt to win the Junior Orange.
Two years ago, she finished fifth and last year placed second.
“My last year playing here,” she said. “I want to win this thing. That would be my biggest tournament victory ever.”
Vilips, 15, also intends to attend college in the United tates. However, unlike Laisne, he will have to wait a little longer — he’s a high school freshman and doesn’t know where he will be going yet.
He’s proud of Australia’s limited but strong golfing heritage, naming Greg Norman and Jason Day as two examples.
“I’ve met Norman several times,” he said. “We definitely have golfing ability in Australia.”
Vilips enjoys his lifestyle of a young, talented golfer.
“You get to travel, meet people and see things you would not see otherwise,” he said.
He also enjoys the game of golf by itself.
“The game allows you to use your mind,” he said. “You better focus or you will be in trouble.”
Girls: 1. Agathe Laisne, 67; 2. (tie) Somi Lee, Monet Chun, 68; 4. Ana Laura Collado, 69; 5. (tie) Tanya Eathakotti, Maria Bohorquez, Hikari Kuranaga, 71.
Boys: 1. Karl Vilips, 65; 2. Joaquin Niemann, 67; 3. Edgar Catherine, 68; 4. (tie), Mateo Fernandez de Oliveir, David Rauch, Davis Chatfield, A.J. Ewart, 69.