After struggling through the opening round of the IMG Academy Junior World Championships on Wednesday in San Diego, California, Guam’s Kana Bangs and Tyanna Jacot finished Day 2 in top form.
Bangs, a 15-year-old sophomore at the Guam Adventist Academy, shot 4 over par on Thursday in the girls 15-18 age division at Torrey Pines South Golf Course.
Bangs’ 76-stroke tally raised her position on the leaderboard from T146 to T122.
“I did bad, so now my goal is make good score and practice more for next year,” said Bangs, a nonnative English-speaker. “I tried to get good score because so many people think ... Guam is small, 'they don’t have good golfer.' But, I tried to get good score so ... people know Guam have good golfer, too.”
During opening day, Bangs struggled with her game but settled her nerves on Day 2 and drained either birdie or par on the last five holes. “On hole No. 16, I make long birdie putt and after that I just tried to make pars last two holes,” Bangs said.
As with her older compatriot, Tayanna Jacot struggled through opening day but found her stroke in the second round. Jacot, a 10-year-old student attending St. John’s School in Upper Tumon, entered the second round of the girls 9-10 age division at Sycuan Resort Oak Glen Golf Course tied for 50th place.
Jacot was the Guam National Golf Federation’s jewel on Thursday, shooting a 3-over-par 75 to move her into 30th place.
“I worked on my approach shots after the round with coach Gus (Gogue) and was able to execute better today,” Jacot said. “I am very happy and honored to represent Guam in this tournament and hope to make the people of Guam proud.”
Jacot finished the day with two birdies and said her goal was to make her coach and parents proud and have a positive attitude toward her mistakes. "I’m here to play against the course and not the other players,” she said.
Guam’s Brentt Salas entered the boys 15-18 age division second round tied for fourth place but wasn’t able to tame the Torrey Pines South Course as well as he had on opening day. Salas struggled in the windy conditions but still managed a respectable 79, 7 over par.
“Today I wasn’t as comfortable with my game compared to yesterday,” Salas said. “My swing was a little off but I tried to grind it out and finish strong. The wind picked up and definitely played a factor in the way I played.”
Salas needs to finish today’s third round in the top 50 to make the cut and advance to the final day.
“I have no expectations for tomorrow but to stay in the moment,” Salas said.