Spieth, Clark, Puyat Among Early First-Round Leaders At U.S. Junior Amateur July 18, 2010 By Christina Lance

Marcel Puyat shot a 69 to tie for sixth at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. (USGA/Steve Gibbons)

Ada, Mich. (July 19) – Defending champion Jordan Spieth, Wyndham Clark and Marcel Puyat are among the early first-round leaders Monday at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship being contested at Egypt Valley Country Club.

Spieth, a 16-year-old Dallas native who caught the golf world’s eye with his breakthrough performance at the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship, posted a bogey-free, 5-under-par 67 to grab the early clubhouse lead. Stephen Behr, 17, of Florence, S.C., also posted a 67 to tie with Spieth.

Another 78 golfers had afternoon starting times.

Clark, 16, of Greenwood Village, Colo., converted three birdies in his first nine to make the turn at 3-under 33, and he added one more birdie at No. 18 for a 68.

I started hitting it great early and on the second hole I made my first birdie, Clark said. That kind of jump-started the round. … From there I just got into a good groove.

Puyat, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., played the second nine (his starting nine) at 3-under 33, including four birdies to offset one bogey.

I was hitting some fairways and giving some chances for birdies, said Puyat, who was born in Hawaii and spent several years living in the Philippines. I made a few, so it was a good start. The greens are rolling really nice. If you keep putts on line, they drop and you don’t have to worry about anything else.

Two other players posted 4-under 68: Curtis Thompson, the older brother of 2008 U.S. Girls' Junior champion Alexis Thompson, and Bobby Wyatt.

Story written by Christina Lance, coordinator of championship communications for the USGA.