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.