The Junior Invitational at Sage Valley is still on.
While nearly every other sporting event has been canceled or postponed over the past two days due to the threat of coronavirus, the annual Graniteville, South Carolina, event resumed Friday, playing 27 holes with limited patrons.
Tournament officials expect to play the event’s final nine holes Saturday. On Thursday, officials announced the tournament would continue for the final two rounds, but no patrons other than family members and personnel essential to the tournament would be allowed inside Sage Valley gates. Officials also planned to test players and families will for signs of illness before play on Friday and Saturday.
There are more than 1,700 total confirmed cases and 47 deaths in the United States related to coronavirus as of Friday evening.
With nine holes remaining in the top junior golf event of the year, Maxwell Moldovan isn’t aiming for second again.
The senior from Uniontown, Ohio, who was runner up at the 2019 Junior Invitational, holds a two-shot lead after carding a bogey-free 7-under 65 during Friday’s second round and a 36 on the front nine in the final round. He was coming off a first-round 70.
Moldovan, the third-ranked boy’s golfer on the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, is committed to play at Ohio State in the fall. He has had a successful junior career so far, winning the 2019 Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National, 2017 Division I State Championship as a sophomore and 2018 Northern Ohio PGA Boys Junior PGA Section Championship.
Aaron Du, coming off back-to-back 70s in the first two rounds, also leapt up the leaderboard Friday after an impressive front nine in the final round. The senior from Sanford, Florida, is 7 under overall with nine holes left to play after recording four birdies and a bogey on his final nine holes of the day. In his junior career, Du, committed to California, placed third at the 2019 Rolex Tournament of Champions and won the 2019 AJGA Junior at Victoria Hills and 2018 AJGA Junior at Superstition.
Andi Xu sits T-3 with Michael Brennan at 6 under after a second-round 6-under 66. Following a first-round 72, the senior from San Diego, California, went 4 under on the second round’s back nine to sit three strokes behind Moldovan. Brennan, a senior from Leesburg, Virginia, ended Friday’s long day with a bang, going 6 under on the final round’s front nine. He shot rounds of 73 and 71, respectively, in the event’s first two rounds.
George Duangmanee, Jackson Van Paris, Kelly Chinn and David Ford sit T-5 at 5 under.
Joseph Pagdin, the top-ranked boy’s golfer on the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, withdrew from the event Friday after the second round. Karl Vilips withdrew prior to the first round.
It was not immediately known why either player withdrew.