BUIES CREEK, NC (May 21, 2016)- 131 players competed Saturday in the second round of the Inaugural Carolinian Amateur. As was the case in Friday's opening round, just one player was able to play better than par-70. His reward is sharing the lead heading into Sunday's final round. On the line is a champion's exemption into the 102nd Carolinas Amateur being hosted by the Country Club of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. on July 14-17, 2016. Zakariya Butt, 18, of Summerville, S.C. recovered nicely from an opening round 74, firing a second round 67 that included five birdies. "The conditions aren’t too easy right now,” said Butt after his morning round. Despite his comment, conditions did not seem to bother Butt, as he was still able to put together a three-under-par round. Butt, who will begin college at Winthrop this fall, got off to a quick start. " I made two birdies to end my front nine. That’s when my putter got hot and I knew this could be something special.” Butt was right, his round Saturday is the lowest of the tournament thus far.
Sam Wimbrow of Concord, N.C. grabbed a share of the 36-hole lead by following his first round 71 with an even-par 70. Seeing the course for the first time Friday, the 20-year-old Wimbrow says he is, “Taking it one shot at a time,” which helped him to his steady start to the tournament. When asked about his two birdie, two bogey round Saturday, Wimbrow said, “It was tough, hole locations were hard, and it got a little windy but I played well for the most part.” Former Campbell University golfer James Harris of Lillington, N.C. made ten birdies over the first two rounds. The 39-year-old Harris is familiar with the course layout, as he was the winner of the Keith Hills Invitational in 2006. Harris and 21-year-old Joseph Cansler of Clemmons, N.C. are just one shot off of the lead at two-over-par, 142. Playing in the afternoon wave, 24-year-old Thomas Bonney of Durham, N.C. was also able to improve on his first round, 73 by carding an even par 70. After two rounds, Bonney is tied for fifth with 23-year-old Garrett Smith of Hillsborough, N.C. at 143. Bonney and Smith will begin the final round two shots off of the leaders.
First round leader Charlie Niland of Charlotte, N.C. followed his opening round 70 with a disappointing 79. When asked about the difference between the two rounds, Niland said he did not make any putts. Going into tomorrow, his game plan is simple, "I want to go out there, have fun, and hopefully the putts will drop." Niland is eight shots off the lead heading into the final round.
70 players qualified for Sunday's final round, as the 36-hole cut line fell at 16-over-par, 156. Final round tee times will begin at 8:00 am from the 1st and 10th tees, with the leaders starting at 9:53.
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