Georgia Tech sophomore Andy Ogletree and former College of Charleston golfer William Rainey shot 4-under-par 67 on Berkeley Hall’s North Course on Thursday to sit atop the leaderboard after the first round of the 18th annual Players Amateur.
Nine players are within two shots of the leaders, including Bluffton native Bryson Nimmer, who is two back after shooting 2-under-par 69.
The round was delayed for 65 minutes during an afternoon thunderstorm, but Ogletree completed his round before the bad weather moved in. The Mississippi native made three consecutive birdies to start his round and finished with five birdies and only one bogey.
“The greens are pretty fast and there are some tough pin locations out there so putting is a big deal today,” Ogletree said.
Rainey also began his round with three straight birdies and made five birdies and two bogeys en route to a 33 on the front nine before a bogey-free 34 on the back nine that was interrupted by the weather delay.
A trio of players are one shot back, while Nimmer is among a group of six players who are two strokes off the lead. The former Hilton Head Christian Academy star and current Clemson All-American made birdies on two of the first three holes before giving back two shots for an even-par 36 on the front nine. He moved back to 2-under with birdies at Nos. 11 and 13, then alternated bogey and birdie on his next two holes and making three straight pars to finish off a round of 69.
Bluffton resident Trace Crowe shot 1-over 72 and is tied for 31st, Hilton Head Island residents Tate Hoisington and Will Miles are tied for 50th after shooting 74, Bluffton’s Alec Weary (75) is tied for 59th, Bluffton’s Michael Balzer (76) is tied for 66th, and Bubba Jacoby, last year’s Hilton Head Amateur champion, is tied for 75th after a 79.
Among other notable scores, defending champion Cheng Jin shot even-par 71 and is tied for 17th.
The second round is slated to begin at 7 a.m. The event is open to the public, and admission is free.