- East Carolina photo
East Carolina’s Patrick Stephenson, who won the event in 2017, birdied his last three holes to fire a 2-under-par 70 for a one-stroke lead through 36 holes at 142 at the 2020 CCNC Amateur.
“I am going to try to do the same thing (tomorrow), just do what I’ve been doing,” Stephenson said. “I’ve been hitting it pretty well and putting pretty well, too.”
A left-handed fifth-year senior Stephenson, of Four Oaks, N.C., suffered his only dropped shotof the day with a bogey at the par-4 14th after making 13 consecutive pars. He finished T5 last year.
Trailing Stephenson by one at 143 is West Virginia’s Kurtis Grant, of Herndon, Va., who posteda one-under 71 round that included four birdies and three bogeys.
“I played solid golf just really consistent,” Grant said. “I really didn’t go at pins, but I hit a lot of good shots. Overall, I stayed patient.”
First-round leader Sihan Sandhu, 15, of Ashton, Va., shot a 2-over 74 and shares third placewith A.J. Beechler of Pinehurst, N.C. (East Carolina), Grant Haefner of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.(Wayne State), Ryan Marter of Columbia, S.C. (Wofford) at even-par 144.
Inclement weather forced the cancellation of the round on Wednesday and the tournament willbe decided at 54 holes instead of 72.
After today’s round, the field is cut to the low 40 scores and ties.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Teenager Sihan Sandhu of Ashburn, Va., fired a 2-under-par 70 on the Dogwood Course to take the lead in the first round of the 2020 CCNC Amateur.
“I started off a little up and down and didn’t really make any putts on the front nine but after that I turned it on in the back nine,” Sandhu said.
The 15-year-old birdied holes 13, 14 and 17 on the inward nine to offset his only bogey of the day on the sixth.
Sandhu won the AJGA’s Junior Open presented by VisitFayettevilleNC.com in September. He is home-schooled student with an expected high school completion date of 2024.
He was one of 20 players nationally to be named to the America Junior Golf Association’s Junior All-Star team in 2020.
One stroke behind Sandhu at 71 is A.J. Beechler of Pinehurst, N.C., a junior at East Carolina, who finished T3rd in 2019. Sandhu and Beechler were the only players to break par in Tuesday’s chilly conditions.
In his round, Beechler posted an eagle and two birdies against three bogeys.
“On the back nine, I kept my head down and kept it in front me,” Beechler said. “One under was like a 67 today because it was so tough out there.”
Lefthanded Patrick Stephenson, of Four Oaks, N.C. and the 2017 champion, tied for third at even par 72 with Kurtis Grant of Herndon, Va.
Stephenson, the only past champion playing in 2020 and a fifth-year senior at East Carolina, carded five birdies and five bogeys in his round. Grant, a West Virginia redshirt sophomore, posted two birdies against two bogeys.
After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 40 scores and ties.