From Staff Reports
The Cartersville duo of Chase Jones and Jayce Stepp fired a 6-under-par 66 in Friday’s opening round of the Georgia Four-Ball Championship to take a one-stroke lead at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans.
Lurking one stroke back of the leaders are two teams at 67 — 2005 Georgia Four-Ball champions Jack Hall of Sea Island and Danny Nelson of Savannah, and Bob Royak of Alpharetta and Robert Sheats of Atlanta. Royak won this Georgia State Golf Association event in 2006 with Doug Hanzel of Savannah.
Five teams are tied for fourth at 68, and the defending champions, Travis Steed of Macon and Mark Sweeney of Monroe, are ninth after shooting 69.
Dalton’s David Noll Jr., the eight-time GSGA Men’s Player of the Year and the winner of the past six awards, is teamed up with former Georgia Four-Ball champion Mark Strickland of Woodstock. Strickland won his title with Newnan’s Louis Brown in 2008.
Noll and Strickland — who finished runner-up at this event last year — opened with a 71 and are tied with four other teams for 12th.