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Phuket Island, Thailand | April 18: High ranking JGTA Junior Order of Merit holders set the pace in the action packed first round of the JGTA Phuket Junior Open taking place at Laguna Golf Phuket this week. In total, competitors from nine countries are playing to improve their ranking in the JGTA Junior Order of Merit – the source for AJGA PBE Status in Asia.

Scores are tight atop the leaderboard in the Boy’s Division. Willy Chen (2022) of Taipei, Taiwan leads the field after firing a two-under-par 69 with a total of six birdies. Chen currently sits fourth in the JGTA Junior Order of Merit and finished in second place at the JGTA Taiwan Junior Championship earlier this season.

Conor Kelly (2019) of Bangkok, Thailand, Ting Yu Chen (2019) of Taoyuan, Taiwan, Chi Yi Huang (2019) of Taoyuan, Taiwan, Pongsapak Laopakdee (2023) of Bangkok, Thailand, and Chia Yin Yeh (2021) of Taoyuan, Taiwan are in a five-way tie for second place after posting scores of even-par 71. Kelly, Chen, and Huang are currently in the top 10 in the JGTA Junior Order of Merit.

Current JGTA Junior Order of Merit Leader Camille Boyd (2020) of (USA) Shanghai, China leads in the Girl’s Division after firing a one-under-par 70. Boyd, a fully exempt AJGA status holder, won the JGTA Bintan Lagoon Junior Championship earlier this year. A good finish in the JGTA Phuket Junior Open will make her hard to top in the JGTA Junior Order of Merit leading into the final event of the JGTA season, the JGTA Myanmar Junior Championship.

Phuket local Surapa Janthamunee (2021) is in second place after firing a first round two-over-par 73. This is Janthamunee’s first JGTA appearance. JGTA Taiwan Junior Championship winner Jana Ni (2021) of Beijing, China and runner up Natachanok Tunwannarux (2023) of Bangkok, Thailand are tied for third heading into the second round after shooting scores of 74. Ni holds the lowest Rolex AJGA Ranking in the Girl’s Division.

The second round of the JGTA Phuket Junior Open takes place tomorrow (April 19).

For more information about the Junior Golf Tour of Asia and its third event, the JGTA Phuket Junior Championship, please visit JGTA.ORG

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About the Junior Golf Tour of Asia

 The Junior Golf Tour of Asia (JGTA) is governing body for junior golf tournaments in Asia-Pacific that assist junior golfers pursue an AJGA, University and professional golf career.

The JGTA is committed to in upholding the mission, values, standards and principles of the AJGA, in addition to following the rules and policies of the AJGA and its PBE system.

The JGTA Junior Order of Merit, the JGTA’s official ranking system, is the source for American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Performance Based Entry (PBE) Status in Asia. This provides the opportunity for junior golfers to build their AJGA Status through the JGTA and hone their game in recognized events during the off-season.

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EventsChris Watson