SOUTHERN PINES, NC (August 10, 2016) -- Josh Martin of Pinehurst got off to the same start in the North Carolina Amateur Match Play as he did two years ago at River Landing, shooting an opening round 66. In 2014, Martin followed that with a 77 in the second round, then missed out in a playoff to make match play.
"I'm going to stay aggressive," said the 19-year-old Martin, who will attend UNC-Chapel Hill this fall. "Last time I got too tentative."
On Wednesday Martin made six birdies while keeping his scorecard clean of bogeys. The birdie putts on Nos. 4, 6, and 12 were each from within four feet, courtesy of Martin's dialed-in wedge play.
Martin will hold a two-stroke advantage in the competition for stroke play qualifying medalist honors over Caleb Keck of Reidsville. The former Appalachian State University golfer birdied all four par-5s on Mid Pine's layout en route to a four-under 68. "My short game was good," said the 22-year-old. "I scrambled really well today."
While nine players played under par Wednesday, only one did so from the morning wave. Alex Burris of Greensboro was mindful of Mid Pines' quick greens during his one-under 71. "I kept the ball below the hole all day," the 19-year-old said. "I didn't have one downhill putt."
The championship format is 36 holes of stroke play to determine 32 qualifiers for match play. Those 32 will then be seeded based off of their qualifying scores. Players will compete in match play until the field is dwindled to the final two. The championship match will take place Sunday morning to determine the champion.
Defending champion David Kocher is not in the field as he is traveling to Michigan to compete in the U.S. Amateur.
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