JOHNSTOWN, Penn. (June 11, 2014) -- Georgia star Michael Cromie Sam Burns, a rising junior from Louisiana, fired 5-under 65s and share the first-round lead at the 2014 Sunnehanna Amateur at Sunnehanna Country Club.
Burns balanced four birdies and an eagle three on the par-5 11th against just one bogey to race out to a share of the lead. Cromie, meanwhile, bogeyed the first hole but was perfect from there on out, birdieing four holes on the inward nine.
The duo shares the lead on a loaded and crowded leaderboard entering Thursday's second of four rounds at the prestigious Sunnehanna.
Tied for third are defending champion Steven Ihm of Iowa and Nicholas Reach, a teammate of Cromie's at Georgia. They both shot 4-under 66.
All told, there are 12 players inside of three shots of the shared lead. Another 10 players are inside of four shots after a massive group shot 1-under 69 in Round 1.
Two shots back in a fifth-place tie are Michael Johnson of Auburn and recent Mexican National Amateur winner Nicolas Echavarria, who plays at Arkansas.
Baylor's Kyle Jones, who won the Southwestern Amateur last weekend with an eagle on the 72nd hole, is also tied for fifth after shooting 3-under 67 on Wednesday.
Four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and two-time U.S. Walker Cup team member Nathan Smith is among the group three back and tied for ninth. The Western Pennsylvania native shot 3-under 68 on Wednesday.
Sean Gaudette, a rising golfer at Yale, played his way into the field by medaliing in the weekend qualifier. He shot 1-under 69 to sit among the 10 players tied for 15th, which also includes reigning U.S. Junior champ Scott Scheffler of Dallas.
A who's who of the game's elite mid-amateur, collegiate and junior golfers make up the loaded field at the 2014 Sunnehanna. Among the notable first-round cards were: Mid-am Skip Berkmeyer (1-over, T29), reigning U.S. Mid-Am champ Mike McCoy (1-over, T29), 2013 Stocker Cup winner John Sawin (2-over, T42), and rising junior and Florida commit Sam Horsfield (3-over, T51).