Grayson Murray Has Little Use For Driver in Grabbing Southern Am Lead at The Honors

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Updated: 7/16 8:42 pm

OOLTEWAH, TN – Grayson Murray of Raleigh, N.C., caught fire on the back nine and rode a streak of four birdies into the first round lead of the 108th Southern Amateur at The Honors Course. Murray, 20, who transferred from Duke and will be a junior golfer at Arizona State this fall, posted an opening 6-under-par 66 for a 2-stroke lead over a field dotted with the world’s ranked amateurs.

     Playing conservatively off the tee, Murray hit driver just three times, saying he was confident he could hit the undulating greens with his mid-irons. In his 4-hole birdie streak, he had putts of just two to seven feet. His 66 is two ahead of fellow North Carolinian Trevor Cone of Concord and Aussie Geoff Drakeford. Reigning Southern Am champ Zach Olsen of Memphis, opened with a disappointing 76.      .

      The Southern Am field, with players from 25 states and 12 foreign countries, will be cut to the low 66 and ties after Thursday’s second round. The storied event concludes Saturday, the champion earning an automatic invitation to play in the PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational next spring in Orlando.

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108th Southern Amateur, lst Round Leaders

The Honors Course, Ooletewah TN; Par 72,  7,155 yards.

Grayson Murray, Raleigh NC………34-32—66

Geoff Drakeford, Australia…………32-36—68

Trevor Cone, Concord NC………….33-35—68

Eric Ricard, Shreveport LA…………35-34—69

Shotaro Ban, San Jose CA…………..33-36—69

M.J. Maguire, St. Pete FL…………..35-34—69

Ben Griffin, Chapoel Hill NC……….33-37—70

Zander Lombard, Pretoria S. Africa…36-34—70

Davin White, Locust Grove GA…….36-34—70

Stewart Jolly, Birmingham AL………35-35—70

Beau Hossler, Mission Viejo CA…….34-36—70

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