May 17, 2014

Noll third at Georgia Mid-Am

In the opening round of the Georgia State Golf Association’s Mid-Amateur Championship, red numbers were hard to find around the Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee course.

Dalton’s David Noll Jr. was tied for third at 2-over-par 72 after Friday’s opening 18 holes, sitting two strokes behind defending champion Cameron Hooper of Atlanta. None of the golfers in the 144-player field broke par on the 6,730-yard, par-70 course. More than half of the field was at 10-over or worse.

Among other local competitors, Dalton State College men’s golf coach Ben Rickett shot an 11-over 81 and was tied for 82nd, and Rocky Face’s Matt Oxford shot an 82 and was tied for 92nd. The field will be cut to the low 70 players and ties after today’s second round. The tournament is scheduled to be completed with the third round on Sunday.

Hooper leads the tournament after shooting a 2-under 33 on the front nine Friday, but he back-tracked with three bogeys on the backside. A birdie on the par-4 15th hole evened out his round at level par.

Alpharetta’s Bob Royak was in second place at 71, followed by Noll and Sandy Springs’ Scott Campbell at 72. Twenty-five players are within five strokes of the lead.

Noll, the 2007 and 2012 champion of this event, had an up-and-down day. Starting on the first tee, Noll made the turn at 2-over after a birdie on the par-4 fifth hole and three bogeys on the front. He had three birdies on the back nine, but he also had a bogey on the par-3 11th and a double bogey on the par-4 16th. He will tee off on No. 10 to begin his second round today.

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