Six current or former Kennesaw State golfers ranked among the top 33 players after the conclusion of the second round Friday.
Junior Kelby Burton is three shots off the pace set by David Noll Jr., the weekend leader at 4-under 138. Burton, tied with David Watts after shooting 70 on Friday, was even through his first 17 holes before carding a birdie at the par-5 ninth to end his round.
Jimmy Beck, isn’t far behind, with the junior tied for fifth at 1-over after posting a 70 Friday. Chad Wilson, who completed his college eligibility this spring, is tied for ninth at 2-over, while senior Jonathan Klotz and junior Austin Vick are tied for 26th at 5-over. Sam Curtis, who also recently completed his senior season, is tied for 33rd with four others at 6-over.
“I knew we would all do well here,” Vick said. “It’s where we play the most. We’re taking advantage of that advantage and using the best of our abilities and knowledge about the course to get through it.”
Vick is confident that the Georgia Amateur title will be in the possession of a KSU player after Sunday’s final round.
“I think we can get it done this week,” he said. “I think one of us will win this tournament.”
The KSU contingent has a few obstacles to overcome before any of them can lay claim to the title.
The par-71, 7,108-yard layout has been daunting to much of the field, with only three players in the red after two rounds. The cut — the top 70 and ties after Friday’s round — was made at 11 over
Charlie Harrison and Matthew Hayes were among the locals who made the cut at 2-over.
Harrison, a former Whitefield Academy golfer and recent Wake Forest graduate, had the day’s low round with his 68. After a pair of bogeys on Nos. 1 and 5, he got back to even with an eagle on the par-4 seventh and went into the turn with a birdie on 9. Two more birdies on 12 and 18 gave him his final score.
Hayes, a former Walker School golfer who played collegiately at Furman, shot 70.
Kennesaw’s Chris Hall (72), winner of the GSGA’s Senior Match Play Championship in May, is tied for 26th at 5-over, while former Harrison standout Blaine Woodruff (75) is tied for 38th at 7-over.
Acworth’s Rob VanGorder Jr. is 9-over and tied for 51st. Former Walton golfers David Yowell and Anthony Amodeo also made the cut, as did Marietta resident John Guzman.
“It was a huge stress relief to get that birdie on my last hole,” said Yowell, who shot 74 on Friday and is 10-over for the tournament. “I was going through a roller coaster of emotion during my round because I really wanted to make the cut. I didn’t feel like I played well, but I scraped together a decent enough round to make it work.
“Now that I’m in, anything can happen over the weekend once you’re in. I can move up the leaderboard now because I have more time. I definitely feel like I haven’t played good rounds, but now is the time.”