Joshua Bai and Asterisk Talley Take First Round Lead At Junior Invitational

Mar 21, 2024

Click here for leader photos from Day 1. Please credit Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.

Click here for Junior Invitational First-Round Results.

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (March 21, 2024) – New Zealand’s Joshua Bai and U.S.A.’s Asterisk Talley have set the pace at the 13th edition of the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club. Bai leads the boy’s division by four (-7) after the first round and Talley leads the girl’s field by two strokes (-2).

Bai, a 17-year old from Auckland, New Zealand, jump started his round by holing out on the 423-yard first hole for an eagle two. He added four birdies and one bogey to close out a five under par front side. On the back, he made several long putts to save par and sits at 65 after round one. Hugo Le Goff of France and Erich Fortlage of Paraguay sit four back at 69. Bowen Mauss from Draper, Utah is among four players at 70. Bai, Le Goff and Mauss were paired together.

“It definitely helps feeding off each other in the group. Everyone was making birdies and hitting good shots. It was a good energy out there,” said Bai. “I finished second at the U.S. Junior last year and it really stung but I knew I had the ability to perform out here. Having the lead feels great.”

On the girl’s side, Talley, a 15-year-old from Chowchilla, Calif., has a two-stroke lead over Meja Ortengren of Sweden after shooting a first-round score of 70. Talley had four birdies on the day when birdies where a premium on Sage Valley’s lightning-fast greens. She followed up a disappointing double bogey on the par three 16th hole with a birdie on 17, which played as one of the toughest holes of the days.

“I definitely tried to have a short memory after the par 3. I hit a pretty good drive on 17 and was able to leave my approach with an uphill birdie putt,” said Talley. “I tried to play my best today knowing that the next two days may be in the rain. I’m going to have the same game plan tomorrow because it obviously worked today.

The Junior Invitational lived up to its reputation as one of the most competitive international junior golf fields in the world. All of the top seven boys represented different countries as did the top five girls.

The second round of the tournament begins at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday (March 22) at the Sage Valley Golf Club with players playing off the first and 10th holes due to potential rain. The leaders will tee off at 10:36 a.m. ET and 10:48 a.m. ET. The event is open to the public, and admission is free.

Top Five Boys Results
1. Joshua Bai – 65; T2. Hugo Le Goff – 69; T2. Erich Fortlage – 69; T4. Bowen Mauss – 70; T4. Byungho Lee – 70; T4. Louis Klein – 70; T4. Taishi Moto – 70

Top Five Girls Results
1. Asterisk Talley – 70; 2. Meja Ortengren – 72; T3. Rianne Mikhaela Malixi – 73; T3. Helen Briem – 73; T3. Eila Galitsky – 73

Click here for photos from Day 1 of the 2024 Junior Invitational. Please credit Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.