Southern Amateur: Three tied in weather-delayed event
ORLANDO, Fla. (July 17, 2008)--Of the three players leading the incomplete first round of the 102nd Southern Amateur on Wednesday at Lake Nona Club, two are alternates who slipped into the field as last-minute replacements.
Tim McKenney, a Florida Gator junior from Scottsdale AZ, was the last player added to the field and made the best of it with a 7-under-par 65 to join Atlanta’s Tim Schaetzel and Georgia junior Hudson Swafford in the lead.
Schaetzel got it as the first alternate and blistered his opening nine with a 7-under-par 29.
“It’s exciting to lead a tournament this important, but you don’t win on the first day," said Schaetzel.
McKenney caught fire after holing a 25-foot
birdie putt on the eighth hole to launch a string of eight birdies in nine holes. Swafford holed two 30-foot putts to highlight a round he described as “a definite confidence builder.”
The surprising trio tied the Lake Nona competitive amateur course record and
upstaged an elite, international field sprinkled with top-ranked amateurs.
Former Southern Am champ and Clemson ace Kyle Stanley opened with a 70 and USC
All-American Rory Hie managed 69. Orlando local favorite Sam Saunders also opened with 69.
Florida State star Matt Savage, fresh from his North-South championship, had 70.
Following two lengthy rain delays, play was suspended with 80 players still on the course, who will have to complete their first round early Thursday.
The international field of 168 players will be cut to 66 players and ties after the second round. The 72-hole event concludes on Saturday.
ABOUT THE Southern Amateur
The Southern Amateur, which dates back to 1902, is
one of two competitions held by the Southern Golf
Association. (The other is the Southern Junior.) Its
champions roster is like a who’s
of competitive golf. (And the same could be said of
the standing of its host clubs.) Leading this group is
Robert T. (Bobby) Jones, Jr., who was the Southern
Amateur Champion in 1917, 1920, and 1922. Others
who have won or finished in a challenging position
gone on to national and/or international prominence
include Tommy Barnes, Dale Morey, Don January,
Brewer, Doug Sanders, Billy Joe Patton, Lew Oehmig,
Hubert Green, Downing Gray, Marvin (Vinny) Giles,
Lanny Wadkins, Steve Melnyk, Tom Kite, John
Mahaffey, Ben Crenshaw, Gary Koch, Bill Rogers, Gil
Morgan, Danny Edwards, Andy Bean, Vance Haefner,
Jerry Pate, Chip Beck, David Edwards, Jay Sigel, Bob
Tway, Mark Brooks, Gene Sauers, Davis Love, Justin
Leonard and more recently PGA Tour standouts Webb
Simpson and Kyle Stanley, who won twice each
between 2005 and 2008 in alternate years.
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