Brian Maurer holds clubhouse lead in Spring Hill Classic
Vargas, Wheeldon T2, one shot back
Tifton, Ga. – (February 28, 2013) – On a day when only 18 players that completed the first round broke par, Brian Maurer turned in one of his best rounds on the NGA TOUR to take the early lead in the Spring Hill Classic.
Maurer, a Ball State alumnus from Richmond, Ind., posted six birdies and one bogey at Spring Hill Country Club in the first round en route to a 5-under 66 and the clubhouse lead in the $200,000 event. Maurer, the 2009 Ball State Most Valuable Player, is playing in his 49th event and searching for his first victory.
James Vargas and Riley Wheeldon were also able to somewhat tame the tight, 6,850-yard layout in the opening round, shooting 4-under 67s on Thursday. Vargas, a former University of Florida golfer from Miami, made the turn at even par before posting four birdies on the inward nine. Wheeldon, a former Louisville Cardinal from Comox, Canada, carded five birdies and one bogey in the first round.
Rookies Hunter Harmrick and Peter Malnati were 3-under par and tied for fourth when play was suspended on Thursday evening.
After a bogey on the opening hole, Hamrick, a former University of Alabama All-American from Montgomery, Ala., birdied five of his next seven holes and finished his front nine at 4-under par. The 2012 U.S. Open competitor, however, posted three bogeys and only two birdies on the backside to finish with a 68.
In his NGA TOUR debut, Malnati, a former University of Missouri golfer from Dandridge, Tenn., recorded five birdies and two bogeys in the first round of play to join Hamrick on the first page of the leaderboard.
A week after finishing second at Killearn, Trent Whitekiller of Sallisaw, Okla., kept up his solid play. The former Oklahoma State golfer posted four birdies and two bogeys in the first round and was 2-under par and tied for sixth with NGA TOUR veterans Justin Hueber, Kelvin Day, Paul Apyan, Ken Looper and 2011 Web.com Tour member Travis Bertoni.
Like Whitekiller, last week’s winner Clayton Rask seems to have carried some momentum into the Spring Hill Classic. Rask, a former Minnesota Golden Gopher from Otsego, Minn., finished the day 1-under par and tied for 12th with Ben Silverman, Seath Lauer, Bo Hoag, Oscar Stark, Brett Munson and T.J. Bordeaux.
Both the conclusion of the first round and the start of the second round at Spring Hill Country Club will begin at 8:15 a.m. on Friday. As always, admission is free to the public.
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