Georgia Am: Jones leads by one

ATLANTA, Ga. (July 8, 2011) -– Bill Jones III of Albany shot a second-round 68 and with a 36-hole total of 3-under-par 137. Jones owns a one-shot lead over three players after the second round of the Georgia Amateur Championship, taking place at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta. Past champion David Noll Jr. of Dalton, Doug Hanzel of Savannah and Georgia Tech golfer Anders Albertson of Woodstock all trail the leader at 138.

Reigning Georgia Mid-Amateur champion Mark Strickland of Woodstock carded a 67 in the second round to sit in fifth position at even-par 140 along with LSU golfer Franco Castro of Alpharetta. William Mitchell of Roswell, Jay Degenhart of Savannah and Gus Wagoner of Duluth are tied for seventh at 141.

Jones had a quiet front nine, with eight straight pars before a birdie on No. 9. On the back he posted three bogeys and four birdies, including birdies on three of the last four holes (15, 16, 18).

“On the front nine I hit a lot of greens, some quality shots, but just didn’t have any really close birdie putts,” Jones said. “On the back nine I struggled at times, had a couple three-putts. The last few holes I had three-four makeable birdie putts and was lucky enough to make a few of them.”

Jones was recently named the head golf coach and assistant housing director at Darton College in Albany, and said the pressure of owning the 36-hole lead won’t get to him. “I feel great about it. I haven’t played in too many tournaments this summer. I just got a new job so I’ve been quite busy the last month. Just the fact that I get to play is nice. I think that’s taken some of the pressure off and I’m just trying to have some fun.”

First-round leader and defending champion Lee Knox of Augusta struggled a bit on Friday, shooting 75 with six bogeys and a double-bogey. He has dropped to a tie for 10th with four other players at 2-over-142.

Harold Wyatt of Atlanta scored a hole-in-one on the 176-yard 14th hole, using an 8-iron. Wyatt started on the back nine, turning at 5-under 30 and ending the day as one of three players with a field-low, 3-under-par 67. Noll and Strickland carded the other two 67s, which matched Knox’s first-round score as a tournament low thus far.

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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