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    Players shine in tourney at Alotian Club

    9:59 PM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
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    ROLAND, Ark. (July 30) - The leaderboard after the 111th Western Amateur's first round sparkled like the blend of architectural and natural brilliance of The Alotian Club itself, which is staging its unofficial "coming-out party" this week by hosting one of the world's most prestigious amateur championships.

    Three players shot 7-under par 65 Tuesday to tie for the 18-hole lead, while several of their hottest and/or most highly-ranked contemporaries were close on the heels of their soft spikes.

    Taking the early lead were Georgia Tech lefty Seth Reeves, recent USC graduate Sam Smith and Stanford senior Cameron Wilson.

    Within three strokes, however, were such mega-accomplished players as Justin Thomas, Patrick Rodgers, Michael Weaver and Beau Hossler - all of whom have performed well in PGA TOUR events.

    One stroke behind the leaders are two of the nation's hottest but lesser-known players, Jordan Niebrugge, of Wisconsin, and Texas A&M's Tyler Dunlap, who both shot 66.

    On Monday, Dunlap was medalist - by six shots - at the U.S. Amateur qualifier in Hamilton, N.Y., He traveled to Little Rock on Monday night and shot 66 Tuesday at The Alotian Club, site unseen.

    Meanwhile, Niebrugge won last week's Wisconsin State Amateur a week after defeating No. 2-ranked Michael Kim to win the U.S. Public Links championship. Kim shot even par 72 on Tuesday.

    "From the club's perspective Day One couldn't have gone any better," said Warren Stephens, founder of The Alotian Club. "Both the members and the volunteers are raving about the experience.  It was an exciting first day of golf, with exceptional scoring conditions."

    The players also were raving about the experience.

    "Anytime you can shoot 7-under at this course, I'll take that," said Reeves, who, like Smith, played in the morning under cloudy skies that blunted the normally searing Arkansas sun. "Most important, I just need to be relaxed. I just want to make the first cut and take it step-by-step."

    Smith amassed nine birdies to go with two bogeys en route to his 65.

    "I've been getting progressively better all summer," said Smith, who intends to compete in the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament later this year. "I put together a solid putting day with some good ball-striking and it turned out a lot better than I might have expected. This course really fits my eye from tee to green."

    Rodgers, ranked No. 5 in the world, shot 5-under 67 and was tied with Andrew Yun, his former Stanford teammate who graduated in the spring.

    Shooting 4-under 68s were the highly decorated Thomas (No. 3), a member of this year's Alabama national championship team; No. 14 Weaver, last year's U.S. Amateur runner-up, who made the cut at the U.S. Open; Hossler, who made the cut at the 2012 U.S. Open as a high school graduate, and Finland's Toni Hakula, runner-up at this year's British Amateur and a senior at Texas.

    The 15 players tied at 3-under highlighted the international nature of the field, with such names as Brett Drewitt of Australia, Sebastian Cappelen, of Denmark, and Zecheng Dou, of China. Players from at least 15 nations are competing this week.

    A considerable group of players with Arkansas connections also competed in the opening round.  Cappelen, Lane Hulse and Austin Cook - all members of the Arkansas golf team - shot 3-under 69, with teammates Nicolas Echavarria coming in at 2-under and Joe Doramus at 1-over.  Wes McNulty was at 3-over; Joe Nichols at 4-over; Stan Payne at 7-over, and 1995 Western Amateur champion Patrick Lee at 8-over.

    After Wednesday's second round, the field will be cut to the low 44 and ties. The survivors will play 18 holes on both Thursday and Friday after which the low 16 will compete in match play over the weekend.

    -By Barry Cronin

    2013 Western Amateur

    First-Round Results

    The Alotian Club, Roland, Ark.

    Par: 72      Yardage: 7,480

    Pos.  Name      Hometown   Score

     1 Seth Reeves Suwannee, GA 34-31--65

     Sam Smith Turlock, CA 33-32--65

     Cameron Wilson Rowayton, CT 33-32--65

     4 Jordan Niebrugge Mequon, WI 33-33--66  Tyler Dunlap Westlake, TX 34-32--66

     6 Andrew Yun Chandler, AZ 33-34--67

     Patrick Rodgers Avon, IN  32-35--67

     8 Michael Weaver Fresno, CA 35-33--68

     Toni Hakula Austin, TX 33-35--68

     Beau Hossler Mission Viejo, CA 33-35--68  Justin Thomas Goshen, KY 34-34--68  Carlos Ortiz Denton, TX 34-34--68

     13 Alex Edfort Somerset, NJ 33-36--69

     Brett Drewitt Inverell, Australia 35-34--69  Jonathan Garrick Atherton, CA 36-33--69  Todd White Spartanburg, SC 33-36--69  Victor Perez Albuquerque, NM 34-35--69  Lane Hulse Fordyce, AR 34-35--69  Zecheng Dou Beijing, China 37-32--69  Ian Davis Edmond, OK 34-35--69  Michael Miller Brewster, NY 34-35--69  Matthew NeSmith North Augusta, SC 35-34--69  Sean Dale Jacksonville, FL 34-35--69  Talor Gooch Oklahoma City, OK 33-36--69  Sebastian Cappelen Fayetteville, AR 35-34--69  Austin Cook Jonesboro, AR 34-35--69  Bryson Aldrich-DeChambeau Clovis, CA 36-33--69

     28 Cory McElyea Santa Cruz, CA 36-34--70  Robby Shelton, IV Wilmer, AL 34-36--70  Brandon Hagy Westlake Village, CA 35-35--70  Nicholas Reach Moscow, PA 33-37--70  Joshua Munn Palmersto North, N. Zealand 35-35--70  Taylor Moore Edmond, OK 34-36--70  Nathan Anderson Burleson, TX 36-34--70  Nicolas Echavarria Fayetteville, AR 34-36--70  Yaroslav Merkulov Penfield, NY 34-36--70  Adam Wood Zionsville, IN 33-37--70  Wyndham Clark Greenwood Village, CO 36-34--70  Lorens Chan Honolulu, HI 33-37--70  Chad Ramey Fulton, MS 35-35--70  Kramer Hickok Plano, TX 34-36--70  Michael Schoolcraft Denver, CO 35-35--70  Clancy Waugh North Palm Beach, FL 35-35--70

     44 Hunter Kraus Germantown, TN 32-39--71  Mike McCoy West Des Moines, IA 33-38--71

      Xander Schauffele San Diego, CA 34-37--71  Steven Fox Hendersonville, TN 35-36--71  Cameron Peck Olympia, WA 36-35--71  Adam Schenk Vincennes, IN 34-37--71  Rodolfo Cazaubon Denton, TX 35-36--71  David Snyder McAllen, TX 36-35--71  Keith Mitchell Chattanooga, TN 34-37--71  Viraat Badhwar Kelvin Grove, Australia 32-39--71  Taylor Macdonald Brisbane, Australia 37-34--71  Richard Lamb South Bend, IN 35-36--71  Zachary Blair Ogden, UT 35-36--71  Anton Arboleda La Canada, CA 34-37--71  Kevin Dougherty Murrieta, CA 34-37--71  Alberto Sanchez Nogales, AZ 33-38--71  Joey Garber Athens, GA 35-36--71

     61 Joshua White Chipstead, England 37-35--72  Paul McConnell Garland, TX 37-35--72  Blake Biddle Saint Charles, IL 36-36--72  Gavin Green Petaling Jaya, Malaysia 36-36--72  Bo Andrews Raleigh, NC 35-37--72  Scott Strohmeyer Santa Rosa Beach, FL 38-34--72  Evan Beck Virginia Beach, VA 39-33--72  Gregory Yates College Station, TX 36-36--72  Drew Evans Dallas, TX 38-34--72  Sean Bosdosh Clarksburg, MD 37-35--72  Michael Kim Del Mar, CA 35-37--72  Vaughan McCall Gore, New Zealand 35-37--72  Branson Davis McKinney, TX 35-37--72

     74 Juan Pablo Hernandez Mexico City, Mexico 36-37--73  Garrick Porteous Morpeth, UK 36-37--73  Oliver Goss Knoxville, TN 36-37--73  Gavin Hall Pittsford, NY 35-38--73  Curtis Thompson Coral Springs, FL 37-36--73  Aaron Wilkin Brisbane, Australia 36-37--73  Charlie Bull Wentworth, England 34-39--73  Joe Doramus Little Rock, AR 35-38--73  Kalena Preus Honolulu, HI 37-36--73  Cory Whitsett Houston, TX 37-36--73  Sam Love Trussville, AL 33-40--73

     85 Danny Walker Bradenton, FL 36-38--74  Charlie Danielson Osceola, WI 37-37--74  Lee Knox Augusta, GA 35-39--74  Nicholas Palladino Highland Heights, OH 37-37--74  Nathan Holman Melbourne, Australia 38-36--74  JD Tomlinson Gainesville, FL 38-36--74

      Jack Perry Santa Barbara, CA 36-38--74  Jay Hwang Fullerton, CA 37-37--74  Jason Shufflebotham Prestatyn, Wales 37-37--74  Johnathan Schnitzer Houston, TX 34-40--74  Trevor Simsby Carlsbad, CA 37-37--74  Tae Koh Auckland, New Zealand 37-37--74  Anthony Paolucci Rancho Santa Fe, CA 38-36--74  Trey Mullinax Mount Olive, AL 37-37--74  Peter Williamson Jupiter, FL 38-36--74  Anders Albertson Woodstock, GA 35-39--74  Jim Liu Smithtown, NY 36-38--74  Brant Peaper Tequesta, FL 36-38--74  Ian Vandersee West Des Moines, IA 37-37--74

     104 Clayton Madey West Linn, OR 34-41--75  Michael Cromie Cary, NC 37-38--75  Brian Campbell Irvine, CA 38-37--75  Andrew Presley Fort Worth, TX 36-39--75  Oliver Schniederjans Powder Springs, GA 35-40--75  Jordan Zunic Mangerton, Australia 36-39--75  Steven Ihm Peosta, IA 36-39--75  Geoff Drakeford Yarram, Australia 38-37--75  Manav Shah Bakersfield, CA 38-37--75  Matt Hansen Los Osos, CA 37-38--75  Cameron Jones Auckland, New Zealand 34-41--75  Ruben Sondjaja Sydney, Australia  35-40--75  Wes McNulty White Hall, AR 39-36--75  Spencer Lawson Davidson, NC 39-36--75  Steve Wilson Ocean Springs, MS 37-38--75  Brady Watt Yanchep, Australia 38-37--75  Grayson Murray Raleigh, NC 35-40--75  Walker Huddy Berkeley, CA 37-38--75  Andy Zhang Reunion, FL 35-40--75

     123 John Mcclure Los Angeles, CA 38-38--76  Tyler Raber Davis, CA 37-39--76  Hunter Stewart Nicholasville, KY 38-38--76  Sam An Auckland, New Zealand 37-39--76  Bobby Wyatt Mobile, AL 35-41--76  Thomas Birdsey Trophy Club, TX 36-40--76  Joseph Nichols Little Rock, AR 37-39--76  Butler Melnyk Saint Simons Island, GA 39-37--76  Jack Watson Lincolnshire, IL 38-38--76  Scott Smyers Lakeland, FL 35-41--76  Zachary Olsen Cordova, TN 37-39--76  Mario Clemens Dallas, TX 37-39--76  Andrew Leadbetter Orlando, FL 36-40--76

     136 Tae Wan Lee Orlando, FL 40-37--77

     Tayler Termeer Austin, TX 38-39--77

     Nick Gilliam Gainesville, FL 40-37--77

     Ben Geyer Arbuckle, CA 37-40--77

     Eli Cole Beverly Hills, CA 40-37--77

     Jade Scott Daingerfield, TX 40-37--77

     Topher Baron Minnetonka, MN 36-41--77

     143 Kevin Marsh Henderson, NV 38-40--78  Compton Pikari Te Awamutu, New Zealand 40-38--78  Pace Johnson Fresno, CA 37-41--78  David Fink Corvallis, OR 38-40--78  Parker Derby Columbus, GA 40-38--78

     148 Julio Vegas Austin, TX 38-41--79

     Stan Payne Little Rock, AR 39-40--79

     James Yoon Bradenton, FL 35-44--79

     Brax McCarthy Fort Worth, TX 41-38--79

     Eric Hallberg Parker, CO 39-40--79

     153 Patrick Lee Centerton, AR 39-41--80

     154 Ricky Kato Sydney, Australia  41-41--82

     155 Benjamin Davis Freeport, Bahamas 39-46--85

     156 Tucker Wadkins Dallas, TX WD

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