TROUTVILLE — Former professional Aaron Summers raided Friday’s first round of the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame men’s championship.
Summers, a Willis native who began his college career at Old Dominion before transferring to Radford and later going pro, fired a 4-under-par 67 at Botetourt Golf and Swim Club to take a two-shot lead on Blacksburg Country Club teammate Ben Carroll heading into Saturday’s second round at Ashley Plantation.
“It easily could have been a 65, without question,” a satisfied Summers said afterwards. “I now have to go up against this guy, Carroll, now.”
Starting on the back nine, Summers turned in 1 under and then bagged four birdies on the back side to come home with the low round of the day on a pristine day.
“I know I’m playing well,” Summers said. “I played well in the pro-am on Tuesday and shot 64. A good round of golf. I putted really well. I made more putts than I should have made.
“The golf course is in such great shape, these greens are perfect. All you’ve got to do is get it on line and it tends to go in.”
Botetourt Golf and Swim Club’s Dustin Roberts carded a 71 and stands third in the field.
Paced by Summers and Carroll, Blacksburg posted a team total of 12-over 438 to take a one-shot lead over The Westlake, which is out to capture its second team crown — the club also won the 2018 title.
Led by John Hatcher Ferguson and resurgent Rodney “Hot Rod” Jones, The Westlake posted a 13-over 439.
Summers, who like so many attempting to make it in the pro ranks, ran out of cash and regained his amateur status.
“It was fun just playing competition again,” Summers said. “It has been a long time. Got my amateur status back three years ago and it was two years to get it back.
“Couldn’t play in anything! Played six seasons on the mini-tours … the Tar Heel Tour and the Gateway Tour, which is now e-Golf now.
“I had some local sponsors from around the Blacksburg area and some in Wytheville,” Summers said. “The last couple of years I haven’t played with a whole lot of cash and they let me roll my winnings back in so I could be able to keep playing.
“So I was able to make it least a year and a half longer probably. Did a lot of Monday qualifiers and U.S. Open qualifiers. There’s only 3 spots and somebody is going to shoot the course record. It’s hard!”
Hunting Hills’ Matt Chandler who has owned this tournament with four wins over the past half-decade struggled to a 76 and is tied for 22nd in the field, as the event moves Saturday to Ashley Plantation, where the women and senior women will join the fun.