Cohen rides four closing birdies to top of Arizona Am board
Gavin Cohen (Arizona Daily Star)
Gavin Cohen (Arizona Daily Star)

RIO VERDE, Ariz. (July 30, 2018) – Gavin Cohen gave himself a two-shot cushion Monday as he chases the top seed in Arizona Amateur match-play. Cohen fired an opening 6-under 65 at Tonto Verde Golf Club in the first round of stroke-play qualifying and has a two-shot advantage on the next-best players.

Cohen, a sophomore at the University of Arizona, ended his day with four birdies. There was another birdie at No. 12 that helped him dive to a back-nine 31.

There were similar fireworks from each of the five players who stand at 4 under. Adam Walicki’s 68 was bogey-free, Nick Hedman eagled the par-5 17th hole for his, George Markham went eagle-birdie to close and Nic Beno went 4 under in the first five holes. Blake Lorenze had five birdies and one bogey in his 68 to make up the crowd at 68.

The leaderboard remains crowded after that, with four players tied for seventh at 3 under, including Mason Quagliata, Sam Triplett, Jimmy Kozikowski and Matthew Braley.

Neither Ken Tanigwa nor Corey Bacon, winners of the past three Arizona Amateurs, is in the field in Rio Verde, leaving room for a new champion to be crowned.

ABOUT THE Arizona Amateur

The event will play host to a maximum field size of 156 players for qualifying rounds, with the field cut to the top 64 players for the match play championship, all competing in one division. The event will consist of a 36-hole qualifier, followed by a 64-player match play championship.

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