by Jack Persons, AmateurGolf.com
OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (July 16, 2014) –- Grayson Murray leads the Southern Amateur by two strokes after Wednesday’s first round.
Murray, who recently transferred to Arizona State, shot a blistering six-under 66 at The Honors Course.
His front nine was inconsistent—if that can be said about a two-under front nine— as he made four birdies and two bogeys on his way to a 34. He made four pars in a row on the back, then caught fire, as he made four straight birdies and a closing par to fire four-under 32 and six-under 66.
Trevor Cone and Geoff Drakeford are close behind, as both shot four-under 68 to tie for second after the first round.
Cone’s round included six birdies and two bogeys, while Drakeford notched eight birdies along with four bogeys. Drakeford’s round included quite the hot stretch, as he birdied six out of eight holes in the middle of his round.
Reigning champion Zach Olsen started his title defense poorly, as he shot four-over 76. He is tied for 74th.
Other notables include two-time U.S. Open contestant Beau Hossler and Northeast Amateur champion Stewart Jolly, who are tied for seventh at two-under 70.
The notoriously difficult Honors Course played up to many players’ expectations on Wednesday, as the field averaged 76.74 strokes on the par-72, 7155-yard layout.
A cut will be made following Thursday’s second round, with the low 66 players and ties moving on to third and fourth round play. Currently, 73 players are at three-over or better.
Three more rounds remain to determine the Southern Amateur champion—who will receive an exemption into the 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. AmateurGolf.com will provide full coverage the rest of the way. For results, follow the link below.
ABOUT THE Southern Amateur
The Southern Amateur, which dates back to 1902, is
one of two competitions held by the Southern Golf
Association. (The other is the Southern Junior.) Its
champions roster is like a who’s
of competitive golf. (And the same could be said of
the standing of its host clubs.) Leading this group is
Robert T. (Bobby) Jones, Jr., who was the Southern
Amateur Champion in 1917, 1920, and 1922. Others
who have won or finished in a challenging position
gone on to national and/or international prominence
include Tommy Barnes, Dale Morey, Don January,
Brewer, Doug Sanders, Billy Joe Patton, Lew Oehmig,
Hubert Green, Downing Gray, Marvin (Vinny) Giles,
Lanny Wadkins, Steve Melnyk, Tom Kite, John
Mahaffey, Ben Crenshaw, Gary Koch, Bill Rogers, Gil
Morgan, Danny Edwards, Andy Bean, Vance Haefner,
Jerry Pate, Chip Beck, David Edwards, Jay Sigel, Bob
Tway, Mark Brooks, Gene Sauers, Davis Love, Justin
Leonard and more recently PGA Tour standouts Webb
Simpson and Kyle Stanley, who won twice each
between 2005 and 2008 in alternate years.
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