Stephen Behr continued his run of good form with a 3-under 68 to take the lead at the Birmingham National Invitational at the Country Club of Birmingham.
The former Clemson standout too the lead into the final round of last week's Azalea Invitational and finished third-place in a strong field that included three players prepping for next week's Masters Tournament.
On a difficult day where only three players broke par, Behr offset three bogeys with six birdies, including making 2's on all four par threes.
He will take a two-shot lead into the final round, with first-round co-leader Ryan Terry alone in second place. Four players are tied for third, but they are five shots back.
ROUND ONE RECAP
The first player off Friday morning at the Country Club of Birmingham was the first to card one of three one-under par 70s during the opening round of the Birmingham National Invitational.
Ryan Terry, a 2014 graduate of Lipscomb University, made three of his four birdies on the back nine en route to being a first-round co-leader. The Nashville, Tenn. resident has notable recent wins at this year's Florida Azalea Amateur and 2018's Tennessee Mid-Amateur.
Birmingham resident Jackson Beindorf overcame three bogeys in his first eight holes to earn his spot atop the leaderboard. The former Auburn Tiger golfer tied for ninth at this event two years ago.
John Michael O'Toole rounds out the three men ahead of the pack thanks to three birdies in his final seven holes. O'Toole, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, turned professional out of college and even snagged a victory at the Asian Development Tour's PGM Clearwater Masters in 2016 before returning to the amateur circuit.
Sitting one and two shots back, respectively, are two players from last year's top-10; Stephen Behr, who eagled his opening hole of the day, and Sean Rowan, who birdied two of his last six.
Though defending champion Brad Nurski is missing from this year's field due to his participation in the inaugural East West Cup Matches in Carrollton, Texas, notable players returning to the Country Club of Birmingham include 2018 winner Clay Guerin, who is tied for 12th, and 2014 champion Aaron Hickman, who is six back in a tie for 40th. Also six back is last year's runner-up Alan Coshatt.
ABOUT THE Birmingham National Invitational
This 54-hole stroke play event, formerly
held the weekend after Memorial Day but moved to
November in 2020, dates back to
the early 1900's and is also known as the "NIT". Draws
a field of national-level mid-amateurs.
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