The ball popped out of the rough and started rolling across the tricky green on the par 3 No. 17. As it broke back and crept closer and closer to the hole, his fellow competitor simply stated, “It’s going in.” And sure enough…it did.
The chip-in on No. 17 epitomized the day that Chenxiao Duan had at the second round of the Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst. No matter what kind of situation Duan put himself in, it always seemed like he was walking away with a birdie.
As a result of all of these birdies — 10 to be exact — Duan tied the lowest 18-hole single round score in the history of the AJGA with a round of 61.
“Tying the record is great. I have never shot this low before,” Duan said. “The AJGA is one of the best golf associations out there, so to tie one of its records is amazing.”
Duan has been playing AJGA events for two years now, but he has yet to capture his first win. Duan says that this will be his final AJGA event before he begins college at University of California-Irvine in the fall, so he really wants to add “AJGA champion” to his resumé, alongside “shares AJGA scoring record.”
“This is my last AJGA, so this tournament means a lot to me,” Duan said. “It would mean so much to me to end my career as a junior with a win and take that confidence into four years of college golf.”
Despite his record-tying performance, Duan still has plenty of competition for the final round of the tournament. When he was told that second place was sitting just one stroke back, Duan had a smile that was longer than the streak of birdies he had at Castlewood Country Club’s Hill Course earlier that day.
- Written by Corey Mauer, AJGA Communications