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Colorado Amateur: Dunkle has 19 Birdies Through Two Rounds
Kyler Dunkle (Utah Utes photo)
Kyler Dunkle (Utah Utes photo)

DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 3, 2018) – Kyler Dunkle from The Club at Pradera is in full birdie barrage mode.

The 2016 CGA Les Fowler Player of the Year made nine birdies on Friday at the CGA Amateur, giving him a remarkable 19 for two rounds at Pinehurst Country Club in south Denver. To put that into perspective, the next-highest total to this point is a dozen.

And 3s are clearly wild for the University of Utah golfer, who has carded 19 of them in 36 holes.

Most importantly, Dunkle's 6-under-par 64 on Friday gave the 21-year-old a two-stroke lead at the midway point of the CGA Amateur, one of the oldest and most prestigious golf championships in Colorado.

Dunkle, who finished ninth and claimed low-amateur honors in the CoBank Colorado Open on Sunday, sits at 11-under-par 129. On Friday, the 2018 U.S. Amateur qualifier had a bogey and a double bogey in addition to his nine birdies.

Chris Korte of Littleton, winner of the 2015 CGA Amateur and the 2017 CGA Match Play, backed up his first-round 65 with a 66 on Friday and trails Dunkle by two. The former University of Denver golfer, who placed 22th against a formidable field last week at the Pacific Coast Amateur in San Francisco, carded an eagle, three birdies and one bogey on Friday. That one bogey -- which came on No. 7 Friday -- is Korte's only one in 36 holes.

University of Northern Colorado golfer Coby Welch, from The Links Golf Course, stands at 132. Welch, who like Dunkle has qualified for the U.S. Amateur, fired a bogey-free 65 on Friday that included five birdies.

Tyler Zhang of Lone Tree Golf Club is in fourth place at 135 after a 67. Sharing fifth at 136 are first-round leader and 2016 champion Colin Prater of The Broadmoor Golf Club (73 Friday) and Dominic Kieffer of Collindale Golf Course (69).

The field was cut from 84 to the low 40 players and ties after Friday's second round, with the 42 players at 148 or better advancing to the weekend.

The 72-hole championship will continue through Sunday.

FIRST ROUND RECAP

There are only two former champions in the field for this week's CGA Amateur at Pinehurst Country Club. Guess who's atop the leaderboard after Thursday's opening round?

Colin Prater, who plays out of the Broadmoor Golf Club and won the amateur two years ago, leads the way at 7-under 63 despite a bogey on the 18th hole. That's the new tournament course record at Pinehurst, according to head professional Kevin Vena. Chris Korte, the 2015 champion, shares second place with Kyler Dunkle after rounds of 65.

Prater, who finished 12th in the NCAA Division II Championships in May in his final college event on the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs roster, eagled the par-5 16th and added seven birdies and two bogeys for a 63.

Korte, the former University of Denver golfer who won the 2017 CGA Match Play in addition to the 2015 CGA Amateur, went bogey-free in his round of 65, making five birdies. Korte is coming off a 22nd-place finish competing against a very strong field at the Pacific Coast Amateur at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Dunkle, meanwhile, followed up his low-amateur showing at the CoBank Colorado Open on Sunday with an up-and-down round that included 10 birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey. The University of Utah golfer and 2016 CGA Player of the Year, who will play in the U.S. Amateur this month, had 11 threes on his card en route to 65.

Four players share fourth place at 67 after Round 1, including University of Northern Colorado teammates Sam Marley and Coby Welch. Griffin Barela and Dominic Kieffer are also on that number.

Welch, who has qualified for this month's U.S. Amateur, made eagle on the 370-yard par-4 first hole on Thursday.

In all, 14 players broke par in Round 1, including 2018 CGA Match Play champion A.J. Ott, who posted a 69. The field will be cut from 84 to the low 40 players and ties after Friday's second round. The 72-hole championship will continue through Sunday.

ABOUT THE Colorado Amateur

72 holes of stroke play. A 36-hole cut will be made to the low 40 players and ties. The CGA Amateur Championship is a walking only event. Players may carry their bag, use a pull cart, or use a caddie. Non-exempt players must pre-qualify.

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