Rule made five birdies and no bogeys on, the way to a 5-under par 65 to take the lead after the first round of the Georgia Amateur Championship on Thursday at Idle Hour Club in Macon.
Rule, a Mercer standout who went 21 under through the four-day Dogwood, leads the Georgia Amateur by three shots over a group of four players — Seth Sweet, Jake O’Bryan, Will Chandler and Shawn Hodge — who all shot 68.
A group of 11 is one shot farther back at 69, including Kennesaw State assistant coach Chad Wilson, Georgia’s Mookie DeMoss and Robert Mize, the son of 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize.
Wilson, a former Owls player, had the lead to himself at 3-under after shooting 32 on the front nine, and he got to 4-under with a birdie on the par-3 12th, but bogeys on three of his final five holes dropped him back into the tie for sixth.
Wilson is looking to keep the Georgia Amateur title in Kennesaw State control, after the reigning champion, Owls standout Jimmy Beck, chose to instead compete at the Players Amateur in South Carolina.
Rule made the turn in 2-under and then took advantage of the two shortest par-4s on the course. He birdied the 319-yard 10th and 291-yard 13th to get to 4-under, and capped his round with a birdie at the 466-yard 17th.
While Wilson led the local contingent Thursday, six others with local ties are in a 12-way tie for 17th at 70. Those in the logjam are former Walton High School standout Anthony Amodeo, Marietta resident Scott Davenport, Lassiter alum Adam Wright, Harrison alum Blaine Woodruff, Acworth’s Rob VanGorder Jr. and Kennesaw State’s Kelby Burton.
Of that group, Woodruff may have had the most interesting round.
After starting with a bogey on No. 1, the South Carolina standout made a pair of birdies to get to 1-under through six holes. Bogies on Nos. 7 and 8 dropped Woodruff back to 1-over at the turn, but a string of three birdies on 13, 14 and 15 put him with the leaders at 2-under.
Woodruff finished with bogies on the last two holes for a round of five birdies, five bogeys and six pars.
Marietta’s Jamie Weeks may have had the shot of the day.
Standing on the eighth tee at 1-over, he left at 1-under after a hole-in-one on the 177-yard par-3.
“It felt exactly like you would think it would feel when you make a hole-in-one,” Weeks told The Telegraph of Macon. “It’s a very exciting moment on the golf course, and it was even better because the guys I was playing with, especially Ryan (Trocchio). He was more excited than I was.”
Despite the heroics, Weeks will start today’s second round eight shots back after an opening-round 73.
Kennesaw State’s Wyatt Larkin was 3-under through 13 holes, but a triple bogey on 14, bogey on 15 and double bogey on 17 dropped him back to 3-over.