University of Kentucky junior Tyler “Chip” McDaniel fired an 8-under 64 to claim a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Kentucky Amateur Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville on Tuesday.
McDaniel birdied nine holes on the day, including three straight on 15, 16 and 17, before finishing with his only bogey on the par-4 18th hole.
Two of McDaniel’s UK teammates also sit in the top 10 heading into Wednesday’s second round, where the 156-player field will be cut down to 70. Freshman Matt Liston is tied for fourth place after shooting a 3-under 69 and junior Cooper Musselman is tied for ninth with a 2-under 70. UK senior Stephen Stallings is tied for 11th, five strokes behind McDaniel.
Western Kentucky sophomore and Georgetown native Billy Tom Sargent is alone in second place after shooting a 7-under 69. He also carded nine birdies in the round.
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J.B. Williams, who played the last three years at Akron University, is two strokes off the lead in third place. The Danville High School graduate helped his cause with an eagle on the par-5 No. 8 hole but bogeyed twice on the back nine.
Three strokes separate the top three from the rest of the pack. Five golfers are tied for fourth at 3-under, including Eastern Kentucky University’s Noah Combs and Will Sallee, a Lafayette graduate. Murray State freshman Austin Knight is also tied for fourth.
Defending champion Andy Roberts, who won last year’s tournament in his home city of Owensboro, is ten strokes back after a 2-over 74. Roberts played well early, making the turn at 2-under, but bogeyed three of the final five holes on the back nine.
EKU’s Moberly could repeat as Women’s State Am Champ
Eastern Kentucky University sophomore Elsa Moberly has a chance to win her second straight State Amateur title after defeating Scott County High School sophomore Rylea Marcum and University of the Cumberlands sophomore Kaitlyn Riley at Cherry Blossom Golf Course in Georgetown on Tuesday.
Moberly will face Murray State’s Anna Moore in the match play event’s championship round beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday.