May 17, 2014

Noll tied for 2nd with 18 holes left

Dalton’s David Noll Jr. took a step up on the leaderboard Saturday at the 33rd annual Georgia Mid-Amateur Champ-ionship.

Then again, he also took a step back.

Noll moved up from third into a tie for second after the second round at Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee in Eatonton but is five shots behind Milton’s James Kiely. After Friday’s opening round in the 54-hole event, Noll was only trailing Atlanta’s Cameron Hooper, who is currently tied with Noll for second, by two strokes.

The Georgia State Golf Association tournament concludes today.

Noll’s 2-over-par 72 in each of the first two rounds has him at 4-over with 18 holes remaining. Hooper’s 70 gave him a two-shot lead over Noll, but Kiely followed his opening-round 74 with a 5-under 65 and is the only player below par for the tournament, sitting at 1-under.

“I didn’t see that one coming,” Noll said of Kiely’s dominant day. “The course is playing as difficult as anything I have ever seen. Going in, I thought par would win it, and it still might. I have won my share and lost my share with a sizable lead like that.”

Noll is a two-time winner of the tournament, with his most recent victory coming in 2012. He finished tied for seventh last year.

Macon’s Travis Steed is fourth at 5-over, and five players are tied for fifth.

Ben Rickett, a Cohutta resident and the Dalton State College men’s golf coach, shot a 72 after his opening-round 81 and is tied for 41st at 13-over. Matt Oxford of Rocky Face shot a 76 following an opening-round 82 and failed to qualify for the final round.

His 18-over is one stroke back of the cut, going to the top 66 golfers and ties. Oxford made the cut last year.

Entries were open to amateur male GSGA members who are Georgia residents and age 25 or older as of May 16.

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