Alex Hamilton on the 18th (photo by Kyle Dawson/Aiken Standard)
AIKEN, SC (June 7, 2018) - Wofford College golf coach Alex Hamilton shot a second-round 1-over 71 to maintain a share of the lead with Ryan Knop of Auburn at the Palmetto Amateur at Palmetto Golf Club.
Playing in the event for the first time in 13 years, Hamilton tore up the course in round one with an 8-under 62. He started slowly on Thursday, making triple on the 3rd hole and a bogey on the 5th, but rallied with three late birdies to finish at 7-under 133 through 36 holes.
When asked about his expectations for the rest of the tournament, he demurred.
"Look, I don't even know – I haven't played four rounds of golf since 2012, so we'll just see," said Hamilton to the Aiken Standard. "It was nice to hang in there today, and hopefully I can hang in there two more days."
Knop shot a 67 in a roller coaster round that included three straight birdies on the front, two doubles and a bogey on the back, mixed in with three more birdies and an eagle at the driveable par-4 15th.
Jeremy Grab (Charleston, SC) shot a 70 to sit in solo third place, two shots behind the leaders.
The defending champion Bobby Bai (Lake Mary, FL) moved into contention with the low round of the day, a 5-under 65, that puts him tied for fourth with Alex Shead at 4-under 136.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Wofford College head coach Alex Hamilton, a reinstated amateur who is making his first appearance in the Palmetto Amateur since 2005, shot an 8-under 62 to take a three-shot lead after round one at Palmetto Golf Club.
Hamilton carded 8 birdies and an eagle en route to his 62. He currently leads former Wofford player Jeremy Grab by three. UNCG's Bryce Hendrix and Auburn's Ryan Knop share third at 4-under 66.
Hamilton just finished his first year at Wofford, replacing the retiring Vic Lipscomb after coaching for a year at South Alabama. He was pleasantly surprised by his first-round performance.
"Yeah, I mean I obviously didn't expect to do that," said Hamilton to the Aiken Standard. "I'm lucky if I get two hours of practice in a day, and these guys are getting to play all the time. So probably a little bit of low expectations helped a little bit, just kind of playing golf."
Hamilton is comfortable at Palmetto Golf Club, having grown up there and playing the course countless times.
The defending champion Bobby Bai is tied for 27th after a 1-over 71. 2015 champ Ben Schlottman is another shot back at 72.
The 43rd Palmetto Amateur continues Thursday with the second round; the 72-hole championship concludes Saturday.
ABOUT THE Palmetto Amateur
72-hole stroke play event held on a classic
MacKenzie design. The field of 84 is
applicants based on handicap, participation
amateur golf events and competitive
previous Palmetto Amateurs and other
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