ATLANTA, Ga. (July 7, 2011) -– Defending champion Lee Knox of Augusta carded a 3-under-par 67 to take the first-round lead at the 90th annual Georgia Amateur Championship, taking place July 7-10 at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta. He holds a one-stroke lead over Ridge Purcell of LaGrange, a recent Armstrong Atlantic State University golfer and graduate.
Four players are tied for third at 1-under 69, including Armstrong Atlantic State golfer Gus Wagoner of Duluth, Matt Russell of Dunwoody, Georgia Tech golfer Anders Albertson of Woodstock and Bill Jones III of Albany. A group of six players are tied for seventh at even-par 70.
Knox, who is a rising junior on the golf team at the University of Alabama, made the turn at even par with two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine. He then posted three birdies over his last five holes go under 3-under for the day.
“I was hitting it solid,” Knox said. “I started making some good putts on the back nine. I had a good one on 18 for birdie and now I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.”
With just a few groups remaining on the course, play was suspended at 6:37 p.m. due to a thunderstorm. After 45 minutes of torrential downpour, play resumed at 7:37 p.m., a delay of one hour.
Knox, who is the son of two-time Georgia Mid-Amateur champion Jeff Knox (who shot a 75 in today’s round) is looking to become the second-straight golfer to win back-to-back Georgia Amateur titles. Former University of Georgia golfer Russell Henley of Macon won consecutive championships in 2008-2009. Only eight golfers in the 90-year history of the Championship have won back-to-back titles.
The Georgia Amateur Championship is conducted by the Georgia State Golf Association and brings together 144 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. After 36 holes of play, the field will be cut to the low 70 players and ties and anyone within 10 strokes of the leader.
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