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Zhang, Hillier go low to share Players Am lead
Andy Zhang (Florida Athletics photo)
Andy Zhang (Florida Athletics photo)

BLUFFTON, S.C. (July 13, 2018) – It’s 90 degrees and feels like 103 at Berkeley Hall Club, but the scores keep dropping. After 36 holes at the prestigious invitation-only event in the Lowcountry, Daniel Hillier and Andy Zhang are tied for the lead at 10 under.

The round of the day belonged to Zhang. An 8-under 63 rocketed the Florida sophomore-to-be up the leaderboard and into a share of the lead. So far this summer, Zhang, who is coming off a college season in which he led Gator scoring and won twice, has finished T-21 at the Northeast Amateur and T-6 at the Sunnehanna Amateur.

For his part, Hillier has been the most consistent player through two rounds. His second-round 67 followed a first-round 65. He has made only two bogeys in 36 holes. The New Zealander, who plays a worldwide schedule, tied for 7th at the European Amateur last month and made match play at the British Amateur before that.

Berkeley Hall played nearly one shot easier on Friday than it did on Thursday. Thirty-seven of the 80 players in the field are under par for the week.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the second round was that first-round leader Luke Schniederjans faded away. The Georgia Tech player was 3 over in his first nine holes and could only manage a 1-over 72 for the day. It dropped him to 7 under for the tournament and into a share of fourth. Georgia sophomore Davis Thompson, Clemson senior Bryson Nimmer (who was runner-up here a year ago) and Brandon Mancheno, the Auburn sophomore who won medalist honors at the 2015 U.S. Junior, are also on that number.

Will Grimmer leads a pack of five players tied for eighth. Grimmer, the incoming Ohio State senior who played in the 2014 and ’18 U.S. Opens, eagled the par-5 second on Friday. He had four other birdies in a round of 4-under 67.

Results: Players Amateur
1KYJohn AugensteinOwensboro, KY120066-67-68-67=268
2ChinaAndy ZhangChina90069-63-71-69=272
3OHWill GrimmerCincinnati, OH70069-67-68-69=273
T4FLBrandon ManchenoJacksonville, FL70069-66-70-69=274
T4GASpencer RalstonGainesville, GA70068-68-73-65=274

View full results for Players Amateur

ABOUT THE Players Amateur

While competing in the 1999 US Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach, former US Walker Cup Team members, Duke Delcher and Tom McKnight discussed the formation of a premier 72-hole stroke play amateur golf tournament. The inaugural Players Amateur was held the next summer. Former British Open Champion, Ben Curtis, was the winner of the 2000 event.  In 2004, the Heritage Classic Foundation began running the event. The Heritage Classic Foundation was formed in 1987 as a 501 (c) (3), not- for-profit organization, it serves as the operational and financial oversight group for the PGA Tour RBC Heritage Classic. The Foundation distributes all charitable funds generated from the tournaments to charity. The winner of The Players Amateur gets an exemption into the PGA Tour RBC Heritage Classic, as well as the Master of the Amateurs tournament in Melbourne, Australia.

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