Ben Dietrich and Doc Redman led an assault on par at venerable Palmetto Golf Club on Wednesday and share the first-round lead in the 41st Palmetto Amateur at 5-under 65.
Dietrich, a redshirt junior on the USC golf team from Bluffton, posted nines of 34-31, and Redman, a Raleigh native who’ll be a freshman at Clemson this fall, fired a 32-33 over Palmetto’s 6,700 yards that plays to a par of 34-36.
Seldom, if ever, has the course, which dates to 1892, seen par take such a beating as it did Wednesday. Seventeen players bested par and another six matched par.
Andrew Novak (Mt. Pleasant/Wofford) and Stephen Franken (Raleigh/N.C. State) trail by one shot in the 72-hole championship that ends Saturday. Trent Phillips (Inman), the top junior player in South Carolina who’ll be a junior at Boiling Springs High this fall, is among five players tied for fifth with 67s.
Defending champion Ben Schottman (Advance, N.C./Auburn) opened with a 1-over 71. Other former champions in the field include Todd White (Spartanburg) at 1-under 69, Emmanuel Kountakis (Augusta) at even par, and Dane Burkhart (Aiken) at 4-over 74.
Dietrich slipped to 2-over through five holes, then played the final 13 7-under, with an eagle-3 at the par-5 14th highlighting his charge. Redman, who qualified for the U.S. Amateur last week, made the turn at 2-under and earned his share of the lead with a birdie at the last.
The second round will begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday. There’s no charge for admission.
James Clark III