By Chris Richards, AJGA Communications
A high school senior has won the HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods each of the last three years, and 29 soon-to-be graduates are vying to keep the trend alive in The Woodlands.
After an opening-round 71, Rigel Fernandes is tied for third and is the leading 2013 graduate, just three shots behind junior Scott Scheffler. Though he’s making his first start at The Club at Carlton Woods, Fernandes said he’s drawing upon his experience as a whole.
“It’s a course where you have to be very precise. You can either be really close or really far just depending on one bounce,” said Fernandes, who has signed with South Florida. “I think the experience of playing a lot of junior golf tournaments helped a lot today.”
A quarterfinalist at the 2012 Polo Golf Junior Classic, Fernandes has played 16 AJGA events since 2010 and won the 2012 Under Armour® / Vicky Hurst Championship.
“The biggest difference between an Invitational and an Open is that anybody can win an Invitational,” he said. “The leaderboard is so packed with big names, so it can go to anybody. it’s about precision and playing well in the right moments.”
Nicolo Galletti is sixth after a first-round 72 and is the next leading senior, while four others are tied for seventh after shooting 73: Branson Davis, Thomas Lim, Peter Kim and Brandon Pierce.