Walker Lee at U.S. Open sectional qualifying in 2017
Walker Lee only had one mild hiccup Wednesday in his opening round at the Southern Amateur. Lee, the Texas A&M player, opened with back-to-back birdies, then gave one back on the third hole with his only bogey of the day. He followed with birdie and was back on track.
When Lee played his final five holes at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, Ark., in 4 under, he reached 6-under 65. That was good for a one-shot lead on Billy Tom Sargent.
Lee, a U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur qualifier in 2017, entered the Southern Amateur off starts at the Trans-Mississipppi Amateur and the Amateur Championship at Portmarnock in Ireland. So far, he’s on a stronger pace than in this summer’s previous starts.
Much like Lee, Sargent also started off well on Wednesday. He eagled the par-5 starting hole, then birdied Nos. 3 and 8 to turn at 31. After a bogey on No. 10, he rattled off four birdies from Nos. 12-16. His 66 left him solo second. Sargent, of Georgetown, Ky., plays collegiately for Western Kentucky, and qualified for the NCAA Championship as an individual. He finished T-11 on the very difficult Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
Three men are tied for third after rounds of 4-under 67, including Park Coody, who is about to enter his sophomore season at Texas.
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). This
is a 72-hole stroke play championship with a cut
made after 36 holes. Entries are open to any male
amateur golfer who has a current USGA Handicap
Index® not exceeding 3.4 under the USGA Handicap
System. Non-exempt players must pre-qualify at
one of the qualifying sites held across the southern
U.S. in the two months leading up to the
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