Poole Wedges His Way into the Dogwood Invitational Lead
Ashton Poole had good looks all day at Druid Hills
Ashton Poole had good looks all day at Druid Hills

By Stan Awtrey

ATLANTA, GA (June 8, 2018) - Every time Ashton Poole was staring at a green, typically from the fairway, he seemed to have a wedge in his hand. The result was a lot of short putts, which helped the University of Virginia junior fire an 8-under 64 and take a one-shot leading entering the final round of the 52nd Dogwood Invitational at the Druid Hills Golf Club.

“Wedges were really good today,” Poole said. “The pins weren’t as hard as yesterday, not by any means were they easy, but I was hitting the wedges really well. Hit the ball well off the tee, got up and down when I needed to. Fortunately, things synched up pretty well.”

Two shots back is lanky William Nottingham of Clemson, whose third-round 65 included a hole-in-one; he’s at 15-under 201. Second-round leader S.M. Lee of Dalton State rallied to birdie three of the last five holes to shoot 70 and is alone in third place at 13-under 203. Auburn’s Jacob Solomon shot 68 and stands in fourth place at 12-under 204.

Related: Dogwood Invitational: S.M. Lee Rockets into the Lead

The three-way tie at 11-under 205 includes Chandler Eaton of Duke, first-round leader Jake Fendt of Kennesaw State and Luke Schniederjans of Georgia Tech, who shot 65.

Poole had nine birdies and only one bogey on his card. His bogey on the eighth hole ended a streak of 30 straight holes without a bogey. He’s made only three bogeys all week.

“The course is in great shape right now,” Poole said. “You hit it in the right spot and you get rewarded.

Hit it in the wrong spot and you get penalize, which is the characteristic of a real good golf course, which is what Druid Hills is.”

Nottingham aced No. 6, which was playing uphill from 160 yards to a hole location the players couldn’t see. The ball hit on the green and rolled like a putt into the hole for his third career hole-in-one, matching the total of his brother, an infrequent golfer.

“I was aiming a little left of the target and kind of pushed it a bit, to be honest,” Nottingham said.

Nottingham’s front nine included four birdies and the hole-in-one; he turned in 30. Only a bogey at the par-3 17th prevented him from sharing the lead. He remains optimistic about his chances in the final round.

“Feeling good about my game,” Nottingham said. “Putting stroke feels good. Hopefully I can just keep doing what I’ve been doing, carry it over to tomorrow.”

Defending champion Lloyd Jefferson Go shot 75 and is at 1-under.

Canadian amateur and NHL hockey referee Garrett Rank, who will be playing in next week's U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, shot his third straight 72 to make the cut on the number.

Related: VIDEO: U.S. Open Qualifier, and NHL Referee Garrett Rank

There were 48 players who made the 54-hole cut at even par.

Results: Dogwood Invitational
1NCAshton PooleCharlotte, NC100069-66-64-67=266
2GAChandler EatonAlpharetta, GA70069-67-69-65=270
3GAS.M. LeeBuford, GA50069-64-70-68=271
T4CAJacob SolomonDublin, CA50066-70-68-69=273
T4TNWilliam NottinghamKingsport, TN50067-69-65-72=273

View full results for Dogwood Invitational

ABOUT THE Dogwood Invitational

The first Dogwood Invitational, held in April 1941, validated Druid Hills Golf Club as a challenging venue for amateur golf tournaments. The Club has hosted over 94 total Championships over the years, and the Dogwood tournament continues as a staple on the major amateur golf circuit. The Dogwood was discontinued in 1973 and did not return until 1994 when a new tournament format was introduced. The new format included entrance into the tournament by invitation only and added an 18-hole qualifier for eight open playing spots.

Participation in The Dogwood Invitational is by Invitation from the Dogwood Tournament Committee. The tournament is 72 holes of stroke play with a 54 hole cut to low 40 and ties for the final round. Entry fee is $325.00 US.

Players are required to walk during tournament play and may carry their golf bag themselves (push carts are allowed) or take a caddie. Caddies may be requested in advance during registration, or players may select one on their own.

Player housing is provided on an as available basis to players only, caddies and travelling companions are not provided housing.

View Complete Tournament Information

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