Bluffton golfer Bryson Nimmer opens gap atop IJGA Junior Open

Bluffton's Bryson Nimmer leads by a stroke over the defending champion at the American Junior Golf Association's IJGA Junior Open.

The Hilton Head Christian golfer shot 1-under-par 69 Wednesday for a two-day total of 4-under 136. He leads rising Hilton Head Island High School sophomore Andrew Orischak by a stroke.

Orischak shot even-par 70 for his second round and is at 3-under 137. Nimmer and Orischak will tee off No. 1 Thursday at 9:48 a.m. in the final group.

The pair will have played together all three days.

"I didn't play quite as well today, but good enough to lead," Nimmer said. "Winning this event would give me a lot more confidence going into other events throughout the summer."

Nimmer, Orischak and Bluffton's Matt Lehman led after opening with 67s. Lehman slipped to a 79 Wednesday.

After a slow start Wednesday, turning at 1-over for the round, Nimmer regrouped. He birdied the par-4 fourth, his 14th hole, and the par-3 seventh on the way in.

Philip Loeb of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., is in third at 2-under-par 138. Matthew Plunkett, Sam Warkentin and Dwight Cauthen are all at 1-under-par 139.

In the girls division, Fai Khamborn of Cincinnati, Ohio, maintained her lead from the first round with a two-day total of even-par 140.

Khamborn carded three birdies on the day and finished two strokes ahead of the nearest competitor. During the final round, Khamborn will be looking for her second tournament win in as many weeks.

"Winning back-to-back events would make me very happy," Khamborn said. "I just need to go out tomorrow and do my best."

Hilton Head's Yunjie is in second heading into the final round. After earning entry into the tournament through the IJGA Junior Open qualifier, Zhang carded a two-day tournament total of 2-over-par 142. Carly Burkhardt, of Greenville, is in third at 3-over-par 143.