When his friend Rodrigo Munoz rolled in a testy 8-foot par putt on his final hole Tuesday, Rigel Fernandes provided more encouragement than anyone, even though seeing that putt drop meant Fernandes would finish the day in second place, rather than a tie for first.
Munoz was aware of the situation, too, but he wasn't surprised to hear his fellow David Leadbetter Golf Academy student cheering him on.
"He's my friend," Munoz said. "That's what we do for friends."
The pals will enter today's second round of the AJGA's Hilton Head Junior All-Star hoping to maintain their position at the top of the leaderboard, as Munoz carded a 2-under-par 70 on the South Course at Berkeley Hall Club to claim a one-shot lead over Fernandes and Matthew Beringer.
Reona Hirai of Summerville shot 3-under-par 69 and leads the girls division by one shot over Rachel Dai of Suwanee, Ga.
Hirai, a former Hilton Head Prep student, made three birdies in a bogey-free round, prompting her brother -- Winthrop standout Kamito Hirai -- to say he "didn't see it coming" from his younger sister.
"I didn't see it coming either," Reona Hirai said with a laugh. "I just had a really good round. I hope I can do it tomorrow."
Unlike Hirai, no one in the boys' field was able to break into the 60s, though Fernandes certainly had the opportunity. He hit 17 of 18 greens, but didn't make a putt outside of five feet.
"My home course and the greens I was prepping on were not half as quick as this," said Fernandes, who has finished second and fifth in his first two AJGA starts. "I flew in two nights ago and didn't get to practice yesterday, so this was my first time putting on these greens."
Putting was no problem for Munoz. Equipped with his a new putter -- his grandfather's Scotty Cameron model he recently had customized -- the first-year Leadbetter Academy student started on No. 10 and rolled in four birdies on the back nine and one on the front. His only mistakes were a bogey at No. 11 and a double bogey at No. 1.
"I wasn't hitting the ball great at all," Munoz said, "but the holes I did put it inside 10 or 15 feet, I made every single putt, so that was the difference today."
He credited grandpa's old putter, which he just started using two weeks ago at the Sean O'Hair Junior All-Star Championship, where he tied for 11th.
"It's pretty cool," Munoz said. "It makes everything inside of 10 feet, so I can't complain."
The O'Hair event was Munoz's first AJGA start, and he shot 77 in the opening round before climbing to 11th with rounds of 72 and 69.
He won't have to make up all that ground this week.
"This time I started strong," Munoz said, "and I'm going to finish strong."
Scores after Tuesday's first round of the AJGA Hilton Head Junior All-Star, played on the par-72 South Course at Berekeley Hall Club.
Rodrigo Munoz 70
Rigel Fernandes 71
Matthew Beringer 71
Jordan Batchelor 72
Corey Carlson 73
Daniel Jaramillo 73
Ramsey Touchberry 73
Mills Poynor 73
Austin Morrison 73
Zach Botts 74
Dillon Woods 74
Matthew Plunkett 74
Eric Edwards 74
Michael Pisciotta 74
Osama Khan 74
Tyler Young 75
Ben Dietrich 75
Wade Chen 75
Timothy Colanta 75
Matthew Cribb 75
Tyler Moore 75
Tony Mak 75
Preston Heyward 76
Thomas Walsh 76
Scott Jaster 76
Zachary Martin 76
Ryan Lamb 77
Cole Hunsucker 77
Bernardo Curbelo 77
Davis Morrison 77
William Gordon 77
Brandon Pierce 78
Kyle Sterbinsky 78
Christopher Gonzalez 78
Joe Philaphet 78
Kyle Austin 78
Bobby Jacobs 79
Taylor McCullum 79
Tanner Owen 79
Bryson Nimmer 79
Derrick Villarreal 79
Ben Schlottman 79
Cole Berman 79
Terrence Zhang 79
Noah Edmondson 80
William Register 81
Ethan DeForest 81
Bennett Wisner 82
Sibo Yan 82
Dylan Patscot 83
Harrison Brown 83
Christian Cichan 83
Gavin deFisser 83
Stuart Smith 84
Nate Strigenz 85
Jason Rhodin 87
Bret Howey 87
Steven Tanen 88
William Voetsch 90
Will Miles 104
Reona Hirai 69
Rachel Dai 70
Michaela Owen 74
Alexandra White 75
Sammi Lee 75
Lauren Gros 76
Marianna Zanghetti 79
Elizabeth Kim 80
Mary Ellen Shuman 80
Tatum Jackson 80
Sarah Harrison 82
Sara Riascos 82
Helen Kim 83
Kensington Wieland 85
Rachel Oates 87
Allison Shilling 90
Madi Mae West 92
Tee times for today's second round of the AJGA Hilton Head Junior All-Star, to be played on the par-72 South Course at Berekeley Hall Club. All times a.m.
No. 1 tee
7:30 -- Bennett Wisner, Hampstead, Md.; Derrick Villarreal, Hartland, Wis.; Austin Morrison, Charlotte, N.C.
7:39 -- Ethan DeForest, Cottikill, N.Y.; Bret Howey, Nazareth, Pa.; Davis Morrison, Charlotte, N.C.
7:48 -- Michael Pisciotta, Alpharetta, Ga.; Sibo Yan, San Diego, Calif.; Ben Schlottman, Advance, N.C.
7:57 -- Gavin deFisser, Gilbert, Ariz.; William Gordon, Davidson, N.C.; Jordan Batchelor, St. Johns, Fla.
8:06 -- Cole Berman, Rosemont, Pa.; Rodrigo Munoz, Bradenton, Fla.; Zachary Martin, Pinehurst, N.C.
8:15 -- Osama Khan, St. James, Barbados; Noah Edmondson, Davidson, N.C.; Terrence Zhang, Orlando, Fla.
8:24 -- Tyler Young, Kennesaw, Ga.; Dillon Woods, Jacksonville, Fla.; William Register, Burlington, N.C.
8:33 -- Ben Dietrich, Conover, N.C.; Matthew Plunkett, St. Augustine, Fla.; Will Miles, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
8:42 -- Bobby Jacobs, Valparaiso, Ind.; Dylan Patscot, Wales, Wis.; Cole Hunsucker, Kennesaw, Ga.
8:51 -- Matthew Cribb, Roswell, Ga.; Steven Tanen, Syosset, N.Y.; William Voetsch, New Vernon, N.J.
9:00 -- Tanner Owen, High Point, N.C.; Ramsey Touchberry, Bradenton, Fla.; Harrison Brown, Marietta, Ga.
9:09 -- Jason Rhodin, Asheville, N.C.; Tyler Moore, Escondido, Calif.; Mills Poynor, Birmingham, Ala.
9:18 -- Scott Jaster, Bryn Mawr, Pa.; Kyle Austin, Mebane, N.C.; Stuart Smith, Knoxville, Tenn.
No. 10 tee
7:30 -- Wade Chen, Orlando, Fla.; Preston Heyward, Duluth, Ga.; Timothy Colanta, Monroe Township, N.J.
7:39 -- Christopher Gonzalez, Coconut Creek, Fla.; Taylor McCullum, Hoover, Ala.; Joe Philaphet, Riverdale, Ga.
7:48 -- Thomas Walsh, High Point, N.C.; Bryson Nimmer, Bluffton, S.C.; Bernardo Curbelo, Bradenton, Fla.
7:57 -- Tsz Fung "Tony" Mak, Richmond, B.C., Canada; Christian Cichan, Charlotte, N.C.; Matthew Beringer, Macon, Ga.
8:06 -- Zach Botts, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Brandon Pierce, Covington, La.; Rigel Fernandes, Bradenton, Fla.
8:15 -- Ryan Lamb, Easley, S.C.; Nate Strigenz, Fond du Lac, Wis.; Kyle Sterbinsky, Yardley, Pa.
8:24 -- Corey Carlson, Green Cove Springs, Fla.; Eric Edwards, Salisbury, N.C.; Daniel Jaramillo, Medellin, Colombia
8:33 -- Kensington Wieland, Loudon, Tenn.; Marianna Zanghetti, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Helen Kim, Gilbert, Ariz.
8:42 -- Allison Shilling, New Canaan, Conn.; Madi Mae West, Anderson, S.C.; Sarah Harrison, Martinez, Ga.
8:51 -- Sara Riascos, Bogota, Colombia; Reona Hirai, Summerville, S.C.; Rachel Oates, Rye, N.Y.
9:00 -- Alexandra White, Honolulu, Hawaii; Rachel Dai, Suwanee, Ga.; Michaela Owen, Alpharetta, Ga.
9:09 -- Elizabeth Kim, Martinez, Ga.; Lauren Gros, Gainesville, Fla.
9:18 -- Mary Ellen Shuman, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Sammi Lee, Winter Park, Fla.; Tatum Jackson, Mountain Brook, Ala.