BLOOMFIELD HILLS – Grand Blanc’s Logan Price had his best start to a round ever, shot his lowest score ever, tied the best score ever recorded by an amateur on the course he was playing and led the 108th Michigan Amateur Championship through one round Tuesday.
Price, 21 and a Florida Gulf Coast University golfer, shot 6-under 64 on the North Course at Oakland Hills Country Club and led Austin Carter of Port Sanilac by two shots in the state championship presented by Carl’s Golfland.
Price tied the competitive course record for amateurs held by Oakland Hills members Jim Graham and Scott Strickland and was one off the best score previously recorded on the North – a 63 by the PGA Tour’s Matt Kuchar in a 2007 British Open qualifier hosted by the club.
For starters, Price chipped in for a birdie from just off the back of the green on the par 3 No. 10, his starting hole in the morning wave. Next, from the middle of the fairway and 195 yards out on the 460-yard par 4 No. 11, his 5-iron second shot bounced once on the green and went in the hole for an eagle-2. He wasn’t done yet. On the next hole, No. 12, a 516-yard par 5, he made another birdie and was 4-under through three holes. He finished the round with the eagle, five birdies and just one bogey.
“I’ve been 4-under through four before, but this was the best start yet,” he said. “I was in the fairway all day and missed only two greens. I think of myself as a good ball-striker and I had a good day. I missed two short putts, but the putter was warm most of the day and I figure the eagle cancelled one of those missed ones out.”
Carter, a recent graduate of Saginaw Valley State University with plans to turn professional next month, had four birdies in what he called a stress-free 66.
“I’m coming off a tie for 22nd at the Michigan Open and I’ve been working to get my game to peak at the right time,” he said. “I’ve put in a lot of work, and I want to keep mistakes off the card. I normally make enough birdies to have a good round. I want to keep bogeys off the card like today.”
Four golfers shot 68 to land four off the lead, including Ben Smith of Novi, a Georgia Tech golfer, Cameron Lippoldt of Midland, a Northwood University golfer, Baker Stevenson of Hartland, a Nichols State golfer, and Bryce Messner of Howell, a Grand Valley State University golfer.
Six golfers were at 69 including last year’s runner-up, Anthony Sorentino of Shelby Township and 2018 GAM Champion James Piot of Canton and Michigan State’s golf team.
Andrew Walker of Battle Creek and MSU, last year’s record-setting stroke play medalist, opened with a 70 and defending champion Beau Breault of Hartland, a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan, shot 72.
The field of 156 golfers play 18 more holes of stroke play Wednesday to determine a cut to the low 64 golfers to seed the match play bracket. Three days of match play with two rounds of matches each day through Saturday will determine a champion.
Price, who transferred last year from Tiffin University in Ohio to Gulf Coast where he will have junior eligibility in the fall, was confused when he watched his approach shot from the fairway on the eagle at 11.
“It disappeared and I thought it must have gone off the back of the green,” he said. “But it was in and I feel pretty good about how I played the rest of the way. ”
The recent winner of the Genesee All-Star Golf Classic, a Flint area amateur championship, Price said the 6-under relationship to par tied his best round ever, but the 64 number was a best score.
“I was 11-under for three rounds in the Genesee All-Star so my game is moving in the right direction,” he said. “Being in Florida for school and playing year around has helped me dial in my game.”
Carter, 23, said his game went away during his college years.
“I had success in high school, won a D2 individual state title, and I’m trying to get the game back,” he said. “I’m going to turn pro after playing what I call the Michigan majors, the Open and this and my goal is to have my game ready for (Web.com qualifying). I’m going to give it three years, maybe more depending on how it goes and the support I have. If professional golf doesn’t work out, I have my degree (business administration) to fall back on.”