|Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - |
ST CHARLES, Ill. -- A birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie closing stretch helped Northbrook’s Brian Ohr soar to a 9-under par 63 and a two-shot lead after the opening round of the 86th Illinois State Amateur Championship at St. Charles Country Club. The 19-year-old posted the first bogey-free round of his career en route to equaling the course record.
“Everything was working. A couple fairways were tight, so I’d say my driver was working well,” Ohr said. “I hit a lot of fairways and once you do that you have a lot of opportunities to attack the pins and make a lot of birdies.
Trailing the redshirt sophomore from Miami University is another Northbrook native, Nick Hardy, and Charlie Netzel, both posting 7-under 65s. Both are entering their junior seasons of college, Hardy at the University of Illinois and Netzel at Michigan State University. Hardy birdied half the course, including a back nine 30.
“I hit a lot of good wedge shots today, my wedge game was dialed in,” Hardy, who has finished in the top three of the last two State Ams, said. “I really putted well and drove it well. It’s what you need to do out here, hit the ball straight off the tee and then you’ll give yourself opportunities.”
Netzel, a native of Western Springs, tallied eight birdies against a single bogey.
“It was really stress-free,” Netzel stated. “I only missed three greens, I hit it in the fairway and had a lot of wedges in and hit those to six or seven feet. Out here, the greens are pretty smooth and a lot of putts are straight. I knocked them in.”
Trent Wallace, the reigning Missouri Valley Conference champion from Illinois State University, posted an opening-round 66 to sit three shots back in a tie for fourth. The Joliet native, who entered the State Am for the first time in five years, went out in 32 before cooling on the in nine with a 34. Pete Kuhl of Morton and Zach Burry of Quincy joined Wallace at 66.
2012 champ Quinn Prchal of Glenview shot an opening round 69 to sit at T10, while two-time champ Todd Mitchell of Bloomington is T16 after a 2-under 70. Two-time champ Tee-K Kelly of Wheaton and 2014 champion Raymond Knoll of Naperville are among the players tied for 24th place after shooting 71, while two-time winner Jay Davis of Springfield shot a 2-over par 74 and is tied for 53rd.
Peoria’s Talon Supak scored the shot of the day, acing the 146-yard 13th hole (his 4th of the day). After having started his round with bogeys on two of the first three holes, Supak did not card another bogey following the ace, carding a 3-under 69.
A total of 36 players broke par on a hot day devoid of much sustained wind, with another six golfers shooting even par. The low 35 and ties following Wednesday’s second round will advance to the 36-hole final day on Thursday.
The 86th Illinois State Amateur resumes on Wednesday, with the second round teeing off at 7:30 a.m. in St. Charles.