Matthew Walker (Iowa Athletics/Brian Ray photo)
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2018) – It’s a long leaderboard at the South Beach International Amateur, and a good portion of it is red after the opening round. Three players are tied for the lead after firing rounds of 6-under 64 at Normandy Shores Golf Club.
The leading rounds belong to Englishman Jake Burnage
and collegians Matthew Walker
and Michael Sanders
. Walker plays for Iowa, while Sanders plays for LSU. Walker, who scored a top-5 at the Monroe Invitational and barely missed match play at the Western Amateur, was the only one of the three to go bogey-free on Wednesday.
Conditions were perfect for scoring at Normandy Shores even though a cross-wind drove up scores at Miami Beach Golf Club, the partner facility for the event. Another crew of players tied for fourth at 5 under – seven, to be exact – and four of them played on Normandy Shores.
The crowd at 5 under includes 34-year-old Derek Busby
of Rushton, La., the 2017 Crane Cup winner and a semifinalist at this year’s Crump Cup. Wake Forest’s Cameron Young
, Auburn’s Andrew Kozan
(who hails from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), and Alex Schaake
, another University of Iowa player, also had 65 at Normandy Shores.
The three players who produced 65 at Miami Beach include Georgia Tech’s Tyler Strafaci
, North Carolina State’s Easton Paxton
and 16-year-old Ryan Smith, a University of North Carolina commit from Carlsbad, Calif.
, the assistant men’s golf coach at Louisville who won this year’s Crane Cup, is part of a tie for 16th at 3 under. Ryan Grauman
, who won the AmateurGolf.com Winter Invitational over the weekend, made a quick transition to the other side of the country this week and is part of a tie for 24th another shot back.
Eastern Amateur winner Nick Lyerly
and Pacific Coast Amateur runner-up Austin Eckroat
highlight the group at 1 under that is tied for 40th. That’s where the red numbers stop and 12 players at even par stand tied for 60th.
Defending champion Jacob Bergeron is not in the field, having turned professional since last year’s event.
ABOUT THE South Beach International
72-hole event with 36-hole cut. Open to
ranked amateurs, college players, mid-amateurs
and juniors. Non-exempt players must submit a playing
resume to be considered for the field.
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