Rice Planters Am remains close heading into final round
John Driscoll (FSGA photo)
Day two of the Rice Planters Amateur has wrapped up with one of the nation’s best junior golfers atop the leaderboard.
Clay Merchant of Noblesville, Indiana sits atop the 36-hole leaderboard tied alongside one of yesterday’s leaders John Driscoll. Merchant climbed his way to the top of the leaderboard with a tournament-low 65 on Wednesday. Making par on No. 5 and a birdie on No. 17, Merchant was able to improve on those holes he bogeyed on Tuesday, minus for the par-4 14th. With back-to-back days of making bogey on No. 14, the hole could play a factor for Merchant if he is still in contention come the final five holes of the tournament.
Northwestern’s John Driscoll stayed ahead of his own pace that he set yesterday with a 67. Following a par/birdie start, Driscoll got hot with four straight birdies on holes 3 through six en route to a front nine 34. Mirroring his solid start, Driscoll had four more birdies on the back nine accompanied with a lone backside bogey.
Defending champ and Mississippi State product, Austin Fulton heads into the final round just one shot back of the leaders at 8-under. Out in 31, Fulton kept his scorecard clean until No. 15 where he carded his lone bogey of the day. Avenging the slip up on No. 18 with a birdie, Fulton tallied up a second-round 66.
First-round co-leader Canon Claycomb (Alabama) is also one shot back after following up his first-round 68 with yet another 68 on Wednesday.
With Claycomb and Driscoll well in the mix, the two other day one co-leaders did not fair, as well as Ohio State’s Jackson Chandler, shot an even-par 72 (T-9) and Middle Tennesse State signee Owen Stamper went 1-over, dropping a shot from his opening 68 to sit T-14 at 3-under.
Driscoll, Fulton, and Merchant will tee off at 11:00 AM local time on Thursday.
ABOUT THE Rice Planters Amateur
The Rice Planters Amateur was the inspiration of
amateur golfer, Dick Horne. During his first Porter
at the Niagara Falls Country Club in 1973, Horne
befriended the tournament's chairman Dick Harvey.
Harvey encouraged a receptive Horne to develop his
own southern tournament and, consequently, along
with other Porter Cup officials, shared enough useful
information to get Horne started in the South. The
Rice Planters quickly grew to become one of the top
amateur events in the country.
FORMAT AND ENTRY
Like the Porter Cup, the Rice Planters is played over
72 holes of stroke play. While
by invitation only, the tournament typically
holds a 90-player qualifier for the final five spots in
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