Sunnehanna Amateur: Max Steinlechner and Jerri Ji set pace
Max Steinlechner (NC State Golf photo)
Max Steinlechner and Jerri Ji set the pace in the opening round of the 68th Sunnehanna Amateur on Wednesday. Both men toured Sunnehanna Country Club in 4-under par 66, giving them a one-stroke advantage over the elite field.
Ian Siebers signed for a 3-under par 67 while Travis Vick, who was the runner up here a year ago, headed a group at 2-under par 68 that included Julian Perico, Clay Merchant, Karl Villips, Jamie Cheatham, and Carson Sundell. Ten players were at 1-under par 69, seven more at even-par 70, leaving 26 players in a field of 99 at par or better.
Defending champion Preston Summerhays, who formed the first group of the day with Vick, was in the collection of players at 1-over par 71. Summerhays is trying to become the second champion in three years to successfully defend. Alex Smalley won consecutive Sunnehanna titles in 2018 and ’19.
Steinlechner (Innsbruck, Austria) completed his sophomore year at North Carolina State by tying for eighth at the NCAA Kingston Springs Regional. He turned in a clean scorecard on Wednesday, on his opening nine, making the turn in 1-under par 34. He eagled the short par-5 11th before making bogey at the par-3 14th, the only blemish on his scorecard. He went on to birdie the 15th and the 17th on the way in.
Ji (Hoofddorp, Netherlands) recently finished his sophomore year at Purdue by tying for eighth at the NCAA Stillwater Regional. He birdied three of his first four holes on Wednesday before making the turn in 2-under par 33. He went on to birdie the 10th and 11th, then bogeyed the 12thn and birdied 13 before concluding his day’s work with five straight pars.
Siebers (Bellevue, WA), who just finished his freshman year at Duke and earned medalist honors at his U.S. Open local qualifier, turned in even-par-35 before recording four birdies on the trip home.
ABOUT THE Sunnehanna Amateur
The Sunnehanna Amateur was inaugurated in
1954 -- it was the first country club
sponsored 72-hole stroke play competition for
in the United States. The
tournament is played on a classic A.W.
design. Only one other amateur
tournament in the United States can list the
Chick Evans, Arnold Palmer, Julius
Boros, Art Wall, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson,
Woods, and Rickie Fowler as
contestants: the United States Amateur. Its
format has been emulated by
countless amateur tournaments across the
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