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Matthew Perrine posts a 5-under-par 66 in his first trip to the Scott Robertson Memorial junior golf tournament.
REBECCA BARNETT | The Roanoke Times
Garrett Sweeney of Salem putts during the first day of the Scott Robertson Memorial golf tournament Friday at Roanoke Country Club.
The Roanoke Times | File May
Floyd County’s Amanda Hollandsworth will try to lead the Buffaloes to their sixth state team golf championship.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Texan Matthew Perrine decided to enter his first Scott Robertson Memorial because he has some friends that reside in this part of the United States.
“I like it over here, so I came over here to see what I can do,” the Austin native said. “It’s a good part of the country. Now, I say it’s a great part of the country.”
Only minutes earlier, Perrine had posted a 5-under-par 66 at Roanoke Country Club to take the first-round lead in the 30th Robertson.
After standing 2 over through four holes, Perrine played the rest of the way in 7 under to steal the lead by a stroke over North Carolinian Benjamin Griffin.
Beginner’s luck? Not hardly. A back-nine of 5-under 30 that included four straight birdies from Nos. 11-14 and a bird on the final hole vaulted Perrine to the top of the leaderboard in the 89-player field.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever done 30 for nine,” a grinning Perrine said. “I’ve had 31, 32, never done 30, so that was special.”
Perrine, who will play his college golf at Auburn, apparently never broke a sweat.
“It’s a good venue, I like it a lot,” he said. “I had a lot of good [yardage] numbers today, never was really in between clubs. It’s not overly long. Once you hit the fairway, just keep it below the hole and don’t give yourself downhill putts. I think I missed one or two fairways and maybe four or five greens, but I got the ball up and down a lot.
“I’m used to a little more wind being from Texas. Certainly the scoring conditions were great.”
Continuing a week in which he won the North Carolina 4A state high school crown Monday and Tuesday, and then qualified for the U.S. Open sectional with a 67 at Forest Oaks in Greensboro, Griffin hung another 67 on the board.
“It’s something about 67 and 68 this week,” he said. “I’m very content with my play. I have a lot of confidence.”
Griffin birdied all of the four par-5s on the card, then added a couple more to offset two bogeys.
Now, if he can only stay off the basketball court. Last year, Griffin was 10th through two rounds before hurting his wrist playing basketball with a friend at a court at his hotel.
“Probably wasn’t the smartest thing the night before the final round of a golf tournament,” the Chapel Hill native said. “I got to the fifth hole in the final round and my wrist started stinging a little bit, and all of a sudden I couldn’t swing. I was hitting these push slices and had to withdraw.”
Five players, including Salem’s Garrett Sweeney and Forest’s Zachary Bauchou, are tied for third at 70. Rustburg’s Clayton Forren, who won a 72-player qualifier last month to make the field, also is among the quintet.
Sweeney turned in 3 under and held steady there until he bogeyed the final two holes.
“I think I hit every green on the back until I got to 16, and got up and down from the bunker there,” said Sweeney, who is headed to Lehigh University. “Then on 17 I hit a little baby hook over into the woods, punched out, had 170 yards in and didn’t get up and down from the greenside.
“On 18, I almost hit it in the lake there,” noted Sweeney, referring to the huge water hazard that lies about 60-65 yards right of the fairway. I was a little scared of that road left, so I was aiming down there. It was a little scary.
“I hope I can do it [today]. Last year is the only time I’ve played in this and I was like 79th out of 88. I said I’ve got to show this time. If I can get my driver straightened out, I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at a low number. Seventy-four first round and pretty big number second round. Just got get my driver straightened out after the last two holes. I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at a low round [today].”
Bauchou, who finished 14th last year, mixed four birdies with three bogeys to finish in the red.
“It keeps me in the tournament,” he said. “One-under is always strong around here, this course can bite you.”
Roanoke’s Nick Brediger (73) led the rest of the Timesland contingent. Salem’s Andrew Butts posted a 76, while Blacksburg’s Ty Olinger struggled to 77 and Roanoke’s Drew Lagan stumbled home in 80.
Buchanan’s Korey Watts never made it to the post. The James River High senior and Radford University signee was forced to withdraw after he accidently ran his hand through a plate-glass window at his home Wednesday.
In the boys 14-and-under class, John Pak of Scotch Plains, N.J., shot 70 to take a two-shot lead on the field.
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