May 19, 2013

Noll makes move, tops leaderboard

After Friday’s opening round of the 32nd annual Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship, Dalton’s David Noll Jr. was at par and four strokes out of the lead. On Saturday, he got those strokes back and most of the field gave him a few more.

Noll, a two-time winner at this Georgia State Golf Association tournament and its defending champion, shot a 4-under-par 67 at The Savannah Golf Club to take a two-shot lead into today’s final round.

“Both rounds have been basically the same,” Noll said. “A few more putts dropped today, but I would have loved to have putted a little better and gotten a real low score on that board heading into the final round.”

Noll leads by two strokes over Atlanta’s Cameron Hooper, who shot a 72. Two-time past champion Jeff Knox of Augusta and Marietta’s Jeff Belk were tied for third at 1-under for the tournament.

First round leader Fred Rescigno Jr. of Suwanee struggled in the second round with a 5-over 76. He is tied for ninth at 1-over for the tournament.

This is the second time that Noll has played in a state tournament at The Savannah Golf Club, a course which dates back to 1794. In the 2005 Georgia Amateur Championship, Noll lost to Brian Harman by one stroke. Harmon is currently on the PGA Tour.

“For whatever reason I have always played well here,” Noll said. “I wouldn’t say the course sets up perfectly for me, but for some reason I get around here pretty good.

“It is a funny course, and what I mean is you have to be below the hole on every single green,” Noll said. “You go long on your approach, and it is a bogey or worse. It is a tricky golf course to go real low or even maintain your position on the scoreboard. So far, I am just thankful I have been able to do that.”

Starting on No. 10, Noll posted four birdies and three bogeys on his outward nine. His inward nine was bogey-free with three birdies.

Noll will tee off with Hooper and Belk in the final threesome at 10:30 a.m.

Rocky Face’s Matt Oxford also made the cut, although he’s far back in the field after an opening round of 84. He shot a 70 on Saturday to hang around today. Another Rocky Face resident, Kevin Chastain, shot 91-88 and missed the cut.

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