American Junior Round 1 Recap

Neal leads after in first round of 2016 American Junior


St. Augustine, Fla. – Thacher Neal from Kingsland, Ga. in the United States played a strong and consistent game Wednesday to take the lead after round one of the 2016 American Junior golf tournament.

The three-day tournament is being played in St. Augustine, Fla. at the King & Bear course in World Golf Village. Neal started his round with pars on the first two holes. On the next hole, Neal bobbled and scored a bogey.

That would be his last bogey of the day as he met par on the next hole and then birdied the next three holes. Neal finished the front nine with a two-under 34. He scored pars on all of the final nine holes to finish the day with a 70.

“Today was pretty good,” said Neal. “I hit the ball pretty well today. I missed a few putts, but I struck the ball well. It is easy to score when you hit greens and leave it in spots where you can hit it on the green.

“I got a little frustrated (after shooting a bogey). I probably need to work on my putting. Putting is probably what got me.”

Toby Briggs of the United Kingdom is getting closer to putting his claim on the No. 1 position of the World Junior Golf Rankings after finishing second in the first round of the 2016 American Junior.

“I had three birdies, two on the back nine and one on the front nine and three bogeys, which isn’t too bad,” said Briggs. “I hit a few loose shots so it could have been a lot better. I am looking forward to playing tomorrow.”

Briggs is currently ranked No. 2 in the World Junior Golf Rankings. Germany’s Florian Horder is right behind at No. 3. Both are participating in this year’s American Junior.

With a top 10 finish or better at the 2016 American Junior, Briggs will become No. 1 in the World Junior Golf Rankings for 2016.

Horder finished in a tie for 22 in the first round of the 2016 American Junior at +9. Rounding out the top three was Alejandro Toro Cuprill of Puerto Rico ending the day with a one-over-par 73.

In the Girls Division, it was Anna Nordfors of Sweden overcoming some difficulties to finish on top of the leaderboard in the Girls Division. Anna’s threesome teed off from the 10th tee, and she came out of the box with birdie followed by a par on the 11th.

Nordfors then scored two birdies, back-to-back, on 12 and 13. A par on 14 would set her up for what was to be a complete collapse of her game. On the 311-yard, par 4, 15th hole, she had to take five extra shots to finish the hole. She followed that up on the 16th hole with a double bogey.

“On the 15th I hit two ‘spoons’ out to the left,” explained Nordfors. “I found the second one, but not the first. So, then I hit the one out to the fairway and I like ‘duffed’ it. I am not sure what you call it. Then I hit the ball into the water and I had to drop. And then had to two-putt for a nine.

“On the next hole, I hit a bad driver, and then I hit it into a tree. Then I three-putted and that was a six. I hope to do better tomorrow.”

With that out of the way, Nordfors went back to hitting pars and birdies for the rest of the round. She finished the day with eight birdies on the day. She had a one-under 71 for the first round.

Tied for second in the Girls Division were Josefine Hende from Denmark and Rattika Sittigool from Thailand. Both girls finished +1 at 73.

The 2016 American Junior is presented by the World Junior Golf Series, a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation dedicated to creating a competitive international arena for youth that will promote good citizenship, scholarship, benevolence, competitive spirit and outstanding ethical conduct through a variety of competitive sports activities and other organized learning experiences. For additional information, visit

ATTENTION MEDIA — A live leaderboard with daily updates will be available at Additional questions with regard to this press release may be directed to Tournament Director Reid Whitaker by emailing or calling 772-249-9975..