LONGMEADOW, Mass. -- Joseph Monte tied a course record with a 6-under par 64 Monday to take the lead after the first round of stroke play at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Longmeadow Country Club.
Monte, 16, holds a two-shot lead over John Powers, Christopher Carlin and last year's runner-up David Chung, who all finished with 4-under 66s. Defending champion Sihwan Kim heads a group of seven players tied at 3-under par.
Monte, a native of Chantilly, Virginia, started his day with back-to-back pars at the first and second holes and then bogeyed the par-5 sixth. He started to turn things around with a birdie at the fourth and an eagle at the par-4 fifth.
He parred three of the next four holes and the one exception was a birdie at the eighth. Monte finished the front nine at 3-under 32 and duplicated that score over the last nine holes.
'I would have taken one or 2 over,' said Monte. 'I didn't have any expectations, and honestly, there are 100 players here who are better than me. I'm a no-name in this tournament.'
The 16-year-old Kim won last year's title to become the second youngest champion ever. At 15 years and five months old, he was just 22 days older than Tiger Woods was in 1991 when he won his first of three straight titles.
The event continues on Tuesday with another day of stroke play. The top 64 scorers after 36 holes will then move into match play, which begins on Wednesday.
The Junior Amateur, for golfers age 17 and younger, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association.