Noll leads Georgia State Amateur

SAVANNAH, Ga. (July 9, 2010) – Past champion David Noll Jr. of Dalton fired a competitive course record, 6-under-par 66, to sit at 7-under 137 and own a five-stroke lead at the halfway point of the 89th annual Georgia Amateur Championship, taking place at The Landings Club, Deer Creek course, July 8-11.

Seven players are tied for second at 2-under 142, including three past Georgia Mid-Amateur Champions – local Doug Hanzel, Jeff Knox of Augusta and Mark Strickland of Woodstock. Two players who were tied for second after the first round – Jordan Janico of Duluth and Alan Fowler of Gainesville – are also among the group, along with Knox’s son, Lee, a University of Alabama golfer, and Wes Spannuth of Brunswick.

Noll and those seven players are the only competitors under par through 36 holes, as three players – Brent Paul of Midland, Dave Womack of McDonough and Joe Young of Cochran – are tied for ninth at even-par 144. First-round leader Jack Hall of Sea Island, who shot 69 on Thursday, came in with an 80 in the second round and has dropped to a tie for 41st place.

Noll, who carded 71 in the opening round, started Friday’s round on No. 10 and quickly went to work on his two-shot deficit, with five birdies on his outward nine (holes 12, 13, 15, 16 and 18). He added another birdie at No. 3 before suffering his first mistake of the day with a bogey at the fourth, but bounced back with an eagle at the drivable, 320-yard fifth hole. He added another bogey at the 396-yard seventh to finish with 66.

Noll won the 2003 Georgia Amateur at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw and was runner-up in 2005 at The Savannah Golf Club as well as last year at Country Club of Columbus. In fact, the 38-year-old has finished no worse than sixth in each of the last five state Amateurs.

The field was cut to the low 70 and ties after Friday’s round, with the cutline falling at 9-over-par 153 and 74 players advancing.

Scores across the board were lower than the first round, with the field stroke average dropping slightly (77.136 to Thursday’s 77.532). On Thursday, Hall was the only player to shoot in the 60s, but there were seven sub-70 scorecards turned in for the second round. In addition to Noll’s 66, Hudson Keener of Dalton carded 67; Hanzel, Paul and Young all turned in 68s while Strickland and reigning Georgia Junior Champion Scott Wolfes of St. Simons Island both posted 69.

The Georgia Amateur Championship is conducted by the Georgia State Golf Association and brings together 156 of the state's best male amateur golfers for the prestigious state title first won by Bobby Jones in 1916. The Championship format is 72 holes of stroke play over four days.

Third-round tee times begin at 8:00 Saturday from the first and 10th tees. An online leader board, featuring all competitors’ complete scorecards, is currently available at www.gsga.org. During the weekend rounds, live hole-by-hole scoring will be available for several of the leading groups as well as nine-hole updates for all the other groups.

ABOUT THE Georgia Amateur

A field of 144 of the state's best will compete over 72 holes of stroke play with the field cut to the low 70 and ties after 36 holes. Open to male amateur golfers; non-exempt players enter through one of 11 statewide qualifiers

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