KSU quintet lead local contingent in first round
by Carlton D. White
July 12, 2013 12:05 AM | 1650 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Acworth’s Tevis Upton has ground to gain to make the Georgia Amateur cut, after struggling to an 80 in Thursday’s opening round at Pinetree.
<BR>Staff photo by Kelly J. Huff
Acworth’s Tevis Upton has ground to gain to make the Georgia Amateur cut, after struggling to an 80 in Thursday’s opening round at Pinetree.
Staff photo by Kelly J. Huff
KENNESAW — The course at Pinetree Country Club wasn’t kind to the local golfers competing in the Georgia Amateur Championship on Thursday.

While two-time champion David Noll Jr. completed the day as the leader at 4-under 67, seven others were also under-par, including Kennesaw State’s Sam Curtis (70).

Curtis and his teammates practice frequently at Pinetree, giving them an intimate knowledge of the course. Teeing off on the back nine, he made the turn even with a bogey on 11 and birdie on 12. After opening the front nine with a bogey at No. 1, he birdied 5 and 7 to move back in the red.

Curtis’ round was the best of all the local golfers, competing to make the cut, which will be made at the low 70 and ties after today’s round. Kennesaw State teammate Kelby Burton was tied for ninth at 71, while three other Owls — Jimmy Beck, Austin Vick and Jonathan Klotz — were all tied for 26th at 73.

Burton had a chance for the lead, but a tumultuous back nine knocked him back. After making the turn at 3-under, any progress he made was canceled out by bogeys, and a triple-bogey 7 at the 18th hole dropped him to even for the round.

Former Harrison High School standout Blaine Woodruff, a rising senior at South Carolina, is in position to make the cut after shooting 74 and finishing his round tied for 36th, in a group that also includes Acworth’s Rob VanGorder Jr. and Marietta’s Matthew Hayes.

Kennesaw’s Chris Hall shot 75, while former Walton golfer Anthony Amodeo was tied for 61st at 76.

Several current Cobb County high school golfers are also in the Georgia Amateur field including Walton’s John Yi, Kennesaw Mountain’s Jonathan Keppler and Mount Paran Christian’s Tyler Young.

Each shot 77 and are tied for 71st.

“My front nine was really the story,” said Keppler, who was participating in his first Georgia Amateur. “That’s really where I struggled.”

After birdieing his first hole, Keppler double-bogeyed No. 3 and bogeyed four of his next six holes to make the turn at 5-over. He showed more consistency through the back nine, logging six pars with two bogeys and a birdie.

“I held it together on the back nine well,” Keppler said. “I was nervous out there and thought I’d fall apart after making the turn, but I played some pretty good golf at the end and, hopefully, I got all those nerves out and I’ll make more birdies (today).”

Marietta’s Tom Price Jr. and Acworth’s Freddie Wolford are also on the cusp of being cut after shooting 77.

David Yowell (78), John Guzman (79), Tanner Farr (80), Paul Giles 80), Tevis Upton (80), Tom Contrucci (81), Scott Davenport (82), and Adam Wright (82) are all in danger of missing the cut.

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