Georgia’s Mitchell leading Southern Amateur
Keith Mitchell
Keith Mitchell

LITTLE ROCK, AR (July 19, 2012) -– Georgia rising junior Keith Mitchell, playing with a throw-together set of clubs in a UGA team bag bearing the name of ex-teammate Harris English, surged into the halfway lead Thursday in the 106th Southern Amateur at Chenal CC. Two weather delays will force a handful of players to finish their second round Saturday morning.

Mitchell, whose clubs were stolen out of his car two weeks ago, cobbled together an assortment of clubs borrowed from several UGA teammates and used team golf bag he found in the Georgia locker room that English had used before turning pro last year. Harris won the Southern Am last July at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, then turned pro and is having a good first year on the PGA Tour. His bag, however, with his name in large letters, could win the Southern Am back-to-back if Mitchell keeps up the play that has led to an 8-under total of 136.

“I told Harris I was using his bag before he headed over to England last week (for the British Open) and he said he hoped it would bring me luck,” mused Mitchell, a Chattanooga native. “Winning this would be big. This is one of the truly premier amateur events,” he said.

Two shots off the pace at 138 is recent Central Florida grad Brad Schneider and N.C. State rising senior Hunter Howell. The inspirational little (5’6”, 140 lbs) Schneider of Valrico, FL, won the David Toms Award this year after overcoming a shattered femur, complications from surgery and spending four months in a hospital bed before gradually walking and successfully returning to competitive golf. Howell raced off to five straight birdies Thursday en route to the day’s low round of 67.

World No. 11 ranked amateur Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, AL, moved into contention and is 5-under with one hole to play. The field will be cut for the final two rounds Friday and Saturday.

Results For Southern Amateur Golf Championship
T1NHPeter WilliamsonHanover, NH100070-69-70-67--276
T1ALBobby WyattMobile, AL100071-68-70-67--276
3FLDaniel BergerJupiter, FL50070-72-68-67--277
T4CAJohn CatlinCarmichael, CA50071-74-70-69--284
T4OKTalor GoochMidwest City, OK50076-69-69-70--284

View full results for Southern Amateur Golf Championship

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 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 and gone on to national and/or international prominence include Tommy Barnes, Dale Morey, Don January, Gay 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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