Golf

Top of the field goes low in first round of Palmetto Amateur

Ben Dietrich
Ben Dietrich University of South Carolina

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.

Leaderboard

Ben Dietrich

34-31–65

-5

Doc Redman

32-33–65

-5

Andrew Novak

35-31–66

-4

S. Franken

34-32–66

-4

Trent Phillips

33-34–67

-3

James Clark III

34-33–67

-3

N. Mallonee

33-34–67

-3

Spencer Ralston

35-32–67

-3

Ryan Dornes

34-33–67

-3

William Register

34-34–68

-2

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