MISSOURI CITY, Texas (Aug. 5, 2011) -– Hot temperatures, sunny skies and the occasional cloud greeted the players during the first round of the 2011 South Amateur Championship hosted by Quail Valley Golf Course. The newly renovated El Dorado layout provided a stern test, but did allow for the steady golfers to post below-par scores. Richmond’s Brandon Wilhide will enter the second round as the leader after day one.
Wilhide started the morning off with a birdie on his opening hole, the par five 10th. A bogey on the par four 12th hole brought him back to even-par, before finishing his front side with two more birdies. The Houston Baptist University redshirt freshman played bogey-free golf on his back side, collecting two more birdies to sit atop the leaderboard at 4-under par 33-34—67 for the first day.
Mike Booker, the 2004 South Amateur champion, finished his first round with 4 birdies and a single bogey to sit one-stroke off of Wilhide at 3-under par 32-36—68. Booker, of The Woodlands, finished his round with birdies on three of his last five holes.
Houston’s Joseph Reynolds posted five birdies and an eagle en route to a 3-under par round of 34-34—68. Reynolds gave back a couple strokes with two bogeys and a double bogey on the par four 15th hole. Jeff Bellnap, of Kingwood, rounds out those players sitting in a tie for second place with a 3-under par 34-34—68. Bellnap recorded five birdies and two bogeys in his opening round.
After the opening round, 10 players sit at even-par 71 or better for the South Amateur Championship. Defending champion, James Kwon, sits six shots back at 2-over par 37-36—73.
A thrilling finish capped off a wonderful 2010 South Amateur Championship, hosted by High Meadow Ranch Golf Club in Magnolia. Entering the final round four strokes back, current SMU golfer and Houston native James Kwon chipped in for birdie on the 18th hole for a one stroke victory over Juan Salcedo of The Woodlands. Kwon finished the championship with a three day total of 3-under 213 to best runner-up Juan Salcedo and Missouri City’s Kip Guidry, who finished third.