PINEHURST, North Carolina (June 29, 2015) -- Chad Merzbacher opened up the stroke play qualifying portion of the North & South Amateur with a solid round of 69 on a course that just a year ago hosted the U.S. Open.
The best part?
Merzbacher not only was the only player to better the par of 70 on No. 2, he did so with a birdie at the classic 18th hole.
A shot back of Merzbacher, who plays for Tennessee, is George Cunningham, who posted even-par 70. Cunningham started something special on the back nine, with four birdies in five holes from the span of Nos. 10-14.
That run moved him to 3-under on the day, but three-straight bogeys on Nos. 15-17 gave it back to old man par, before Cunningham steadied himself with a closing par. No harm done, as two more rounds of qualifying will determine the top 16 who make match play.