POWHATAN, Va. (Sept. 21, 2013) –– Fredericksburg’s Jon Hurst shot a second-day best 4-under-par 68 and owns a three-stroke lead entering Sunday’s final round of the 37th Virginia State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship being conducted at The Foundry Golf Club.
The only competitor in the field to post two rounds under par through 36 holes, Hurst owns a 6-under 38 aggregate (70-68). He owns a cushion over first round leader and western Virginian Ben Campbell (Cleveland), who followed his opening day 67 with 2-over 74 on day two (3-under 141). Arlington’s Brandon Cigna (1-over 73) and Charlottesville-area golfer Vincent Nadeau of Gordonsville (2-under 70) are four strokes off the pace at 2-under 142.
Playing the full complement of shots, Hurst got off to a strong start, birdieing three of the first seven holes—all inside 8 feet—to shoot 3-under 33 on the outward half. Hurst kept his foot on the accelerator on the second nine. As rain began to fall, Hurst remained undeterred and knocked in an 18-footer at No. 10, drained a 12-footer at No. 13 and birdied the par-5 16th from 20 inches. The only blemish on his scorecard was a double-bogey at the par-4 finishing hole after his tee shot sailed to the right and left him in recovery mode.
All told, Hurst made good on his strategy to keep his ball below the hole to set up scoring opportunities.
“I hit the ball really well today. I felt like I was hitting it well enough to shoot 68,” said Hurst, 44. “I didn’t miss a green until [No.] 18 and I made a few putts. The double on 18 hurts.”
Some of the sting was taken out when the best score among the last group of four was a 73 by Cigna. Hurst has won three wins in various events this season, but is looking for his first VSGA title of the 2013 campaign.
“I’ll try to hit fairways, play to the middle of the greens and keep the ball below the hole—that’s what you have to do around here,” said Hurst, who was reinstated to amateur status about five years ago. He won last year’s VSGA Public Links Championship. “I’ve been playing well the past couple of months and hopefully it will continue one more day.”
Campbell and Nadeau will be in the last group of three with Hurst in the final round. After seven birdies on the first day, Campbell manufactured a round of 15 pars that included one birdie, a bogey and a double. Nadeau played bogey-free with two birdies on a day that grew increasingly soggy weather-wise, making par a good score. Cigna was one under par through 13 holes, before a double-bogey at the par-5 16th hole pushed him to an over par aggregate for the round.
Locals Ben Keefer of Glen Allen (70) and Jordan Utley of Richmond (72) , as well as northern Virginian Scott Shingler of Haymarket (75), the 2010 event champion, are the remaining competitors in red numbers at 1-under 143.
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