FROM Staff Reports
DALLAS — Longview’s Carter Hill, by his own admissions, had jitters early Thursday morning in opening round play of the 110th Texas Amateur at the Dallas Athletic Club.
Two holes in, Hill found himself 3-over with after a bogey followed by a double bogey. Hill, one of the younger golfers in the field at 18, was able to recover, however, and get his legs under him, closing the front nine with three birdies and a couple pars.
He finished his first day with a 4-over 76 and is lodged in a tie for 83rd. Hill starts round two today at 12:55 p.m.
Christopher Wheeler carded a blistering 8-under 64 to lead the 144-player field after the opening round. Wheeler has been here before. The 36-year-old from Addison holds the first round lead after brilliant first day.
Arlington’s Paul Gonzalez finished three off the pace with a 67, while three others are tied for third with 4-under 66s.
“I was super jittery at the start. My knees felt weak for the first five holes. I knew I needed to turn it on, so I got me a couple birdies and my nerves settled down,” Hill said.
“On the back nine I had a couple hiccups. But other than that I thought I played pretty good golf. I was nervous the first few holes, but I was able to turn my day around.”
Hill wound up with 10 pars and three birdies. He sustained three bogeys and a couple doubles. After starting three over after two, Hill knocked down back-to-back birdies on five and six. He made the turn with 1-over 37 and went to the clubhouse four over par.
“I played my last 14 holes even. My last four or five holes I was struggling to get the ball in good position. I got a double at 11 after I got in a divot. From the divot I hit into a bunker,” explained Hill. “I think Friday will be a better day for me. My dad will be my caddie and I’ll be a little less nervous. If I can shoot 2-under, which I think is very reachable, I’ll make the cut I believe.”
The 144-player field played the par-72 Blue Course at 6,869 yards in the first round. Twenty three players broke par on the day. Seven of them posted scores in the 60s. Second round play begins this morning at 7:30 a.m. Once play concludes the field will be cut to the low 54 scores, including ties.