Jeffrey Guan (Back of the Range/EAGS photo)
Jeffrey Guan of Australia rose to the top of the leaderboard with a 36-hole total of nine-under 135 after firing three-under 69 today. Guan currently has a two-stroke lead over three players at 7-under par.
Guan started his second round with a bogey on hole No. 1, but he made six birdies throughout the round en route to his 69.
First-round leader Matthew Kress of Saratoga, Calif., Dylan Menante of Carlsbad, Calif., Matthew Riedel of Houston, Tx., and Preston Summerhays of Scottsdale, Ariz., all sit T2 and two shots behind Guan at 7-under par.
Chuan-Tai Lin of Taiwan, Peter Fountain of Raleigh, N.C., Kazuma Kobori of New Zealand, Thomas Ponder of Dothan, Ala., and Jack Lundin of Sioux Falls, S.D., all sit T6 at 6-under par.
14 golfers are within four shots of Guan's lead.
The round two field average score was 72.7 with six eagles posted. There were 531 birdies posted in round two and 62 players broke par.
Jackson Buchanan of Dacula, Ga., posted the low round of the day with a 65 to move up the leaderboard ninety places and now sits at T24. He made a total of eight birdies during his round.
Elite Amateur Golf Series points leader Nick Dunlap of Northport, Ala., is T38 at 2-under par after rounds of 70-72, and 2022 David Ford of Peachtree Corners, Ga., sits at T16 after a solid four-under 68 second round and is 4-under overall.
The cut line fell at even par with 66 players advancing to the final round, which will begin at 7:30 Saturday morning.
ROUND TWO RECAP
For the first time in almost three decades, the Southern Amateur will be a three-round tournament.
Matthew Kress of Saratoga, Calif., remains at the top of the leaderboard with a score of seven-under 65 after another day of weather delays at the The Honors Course. Round One resumed play this morning promptly at 7:00 a.m.
After Round One was completed, play was suspended during Round Two at 3:00 p.m. for the remainder of the day due to additional severe weather. After weighing all of the factors, the SGA Executive Committee decided to shorten the championship to a 54-hole event. The last time this event was reduced to 54 holes was in 1994.
Many factors played into the SGA making this decision, including family travel, volunteer availability and staffing.
Round Two will resume at 7:00 a.m. Practice facility and breakfast opens at 6:00 a.m. The four groups yet to start play off each tee will begin at 7:10 a.m. Tee times will run from 11:00 a.m.–1:12 p.m. off #1 and #10 for the original Round Two afternoon wave.
Jeffrey Guan of Australia and Dylan Menante of Carlsbad, Calif., are T2 at 5-under par.
ROUND ONE RECAP
At the Southern Amateur, the golf started at The Honors Course at 7:30 am but had to be suspended at 8:11 a.m. due to lightning in the area.
After an eight-hour delay, play resumed at 4:14 p.m. and continued until play was suspended for the day at 8:40 p.m. due to darkness. Of 78 players within the morning wave, 21 finished their rounds before sundown.
Matthew Kress of Saratoga, California, fired a seven-under 65. With a total of eight birdies during his round, he currently sits atop of the leaderboard. He holds a two-stroke lead over his nearest competition.
Dylan Menante of Carlsbad, California and Wells Williams of West Point, Mississippi both stand T2. Menante completed his round with a five-under 67; Williams is five-under thru No. 14.
With 135 players left to finish Round One, play will resume tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. Afternoon tee times originally scheduled for Wednesday, July 19 will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 20 off No. 1 and No. 10.
OOLTEWAH, Tenn., - 156 of the world’s top male amateur golfers will compete at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn., on July 19-22, 2023, for the 117th Southern Amateur Championship.
This year marks the fourth time that The Honors Course hosts the Southern Amateur Championship; it was previously held there in 1986, 2004, and 2014.
With a commitment to “honoring amateur golf,” the course has hosted an impressive list of premier competitions, ranging from NCAA Championships to U.S. Amateur and U.S. Junior Amateur Championships.
61 of the top 150 amateurs in the world are set to compete in this year’s Southern Amateur Championship. Receiving a new record of 1,012 entries in 2023 ranging from past champions to first-time players, the stage is set for the best amateurs in the world to compete on the Pete Dye-designed layout that was recently restored by Gil Hanse.
of Peachtree Corners, Ga., and Wyatt Plattner
of Sarasota, Fla., are the two 2022 Southern Golf Association champions in the field. Ford is the defending Southern Amateur Champion
, and Plattner is making his Southern Amateur debut after winning the 50th Southern Junior Championship last year in Charleston, SC.
Defending Southern Amateur Champion David Ford has fond memories of his time competing last year at Sea Island Golf Club. “I think the week was really memorable. I hadn’t won in a while. To know that I had a chance to win, was really special. The field that the Southern Am put together that year was really strong.”
Ford posted 20-under in 2022, matching Maxwell Moldovan's tournament record score from the previous year. That record will be tough to break this year at The Honors Course -- when M.J. Maguire of the University of North Florida won in 2014, his winning score was 4--under
, and players like Beau Hossler who struggle down the stretch said the course was "really hard." [We've played it, and it is - Ed]
For Ford, the path to this year’s Southern Amateur is met with a unique set of opportunities along with some previous challenges. One very familiar player that Ford will compete against at the Southern Amateur is his twin brother, Maxwell
“He’s playing really good golf right now and ranked about 100 spots higher than he was this time last year,” David Ford explained. Ford hopes to be in the same pairing as his brother for at least one tournament round.
In February 2021, Ford faced one of his toughest obstacles yet. With several puzzling injuries, he was unsure if a future in golf was even possible. Despite those setbacks, he has overcome them and shifted his mindset.
“I can’t take golf for granted. Golf isn’t guaranteed,” he said. In addition to competing for the Southern Amateur title this year, Ford will be one of ten amateurs representing the United States on the 2023 Walker Cup team, further establishing his already impressive resume.
“It’s overwhelming how cool it is,” commented Ford. Despite his demanding schedule and consistently high amateur ranking, Ford stays grounded and keeps the pressure low. He has clear expectations for his week at The Honors Course. “My goal is not results-based. The only goal I have is to have fun,” Ford said.
For Plattner, winning the Southern Junior Championship in 2022 “was a surreal experience,” proving to himself he “could really take golf to the next level” after narrowly making the cut just one year prior. Plattner won the championship by three strokes, carding a 54-hole total of nine-under 207 at the Country Club of Charleston.
After a year of playing collegiate golf at the University of Cincinnati, he is feeling confident in his abilities to make the jump from the Southern Junior to the Southern Amateur. Despite this being his first year competing in the championship, Plattner’s sights are set on the hardware.
“[Winning] is always my goal going into every tournament.” 2023 also marks the second year of the Elite Amateur Golf Series. Designed to challenge “the best of the best” in amateur golf, the Elite Amateur Golf Series (EAGS) aligns the top amateur championships in a collective competition, the Elite Amateur Cup.
In addition to the Southern Amateur, the Elite Amateur Golf Series hosts the Sunnehanna Amateur, Northeast Amateur, North & South Amateur, Trans-Mississippi Amateur, Paciﬁc Coast Amateur, and Western Amateur.