High School Sports

St. X's Thomas leads Junior PGA

Justin Thomas of Goshen set a course record with a 7-under 65 and leads the 35th Junior PGA Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., by one stroke. Thomas' opening round Monday included an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys on the 7,255-yard Jack Nicklaus-designed Sycamore Hills course, which hosted the event for the first time.

Thomas, who will be a senior at St. Xavier and is committed to play at the University of Alabama, is one stroke in front of fellow 17-year-old Oliver Schniederjans, of Powder Springs, Ga.

Seven players are five strokes back.

Coming off a runner-up finish last week at the U.S. Junior Amateur, Thomas began his round with a birdie on the first hole, followed by an eagle on the 535-yard par-5 second.

"I played well to start and took advantage when I could," said Thomas, who became the third youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour at the 2009 Wyndham Championship. "I felt like a couple times, especially after the first few holes, I got it going and thought about the result too much. That cost me."

Thomas, who closed with four birdies and no bogeys on his back nine, understands that the Championship has a long way to go.

"It's a four-day tournament," said Thomas. "I am happy to have put myself where if I can put three more solid days together I will be right in it. Usually when stuff like this happens recently it's just a one day thing. Hopefully it will keep going."

Henry Clay's Preston French opened with a 3-over 75 and is tied for 35th.

Mariah Stackhouse, 16, of Riverdale, Ga., and Kyle Roig, 17, of Puerto Rico, lead the girls' division with 2-under 70s on the 6,395-yard setup. Two players were at 71.

A triple bogey on the 18th hole kept Caldwell County's Emma Talley off the top of the leader board. But she had five birdies to go with three other bogeys and is at 1 over and three shots behind.

Paige Gooch of Fort Mitchell shot an 86.

  Comments