The first day of the Columbia County Junior Golf Championship belonged to the 13-15 age group.
If Greenbrier High School golf coach Stephen Inman were following the results, he would have been pleased.
Austin Vick, a rising Greenbrier sophomore, shot 65 to lead by three shots after the first day at Bartram Trail Golf Club. Wolfpack teammate Cody Shafer fired 68. Greenbrier's Alex Dye shot 69 for third, and Dan Yanizeski was fourth after 70.
Bartram Trail is Greenbrier's home course, which might explain why four of the top five rounds in the 13-15 age bracket came from Wolfpack players. Shafer finished second at the 2008 Class AAAA state golf tournament, which was also held at Bartram Trail.
Dye's 69 was the lowest round of his competitive career. He opened the back nine with a birdie at the difficult par-4 10th. He bogeyed the par-3 16th but responded by nearly jarring his second shot on 17 and settling for a tap-in birdie.
"I just tried to play par golf," Dye said. "I didn't want to screw up."
Vick said after his round that he wouldn't finish the tournament and was going to instead play in a Georgia State Golf Association sectional qualifier. That left the championship open for his Greenbrier teammates.
"You just got to try to keep your head in the game," Dye said.
Westminster's Davis Parker joined the Greenbrier players in shooting under par. The 15-year-old fired 68 in the first round to tie Shafer.
"I was hitting the ball pretty good," Parker said. "And I started to make some putts on the back nine."
Parker eagled two of the three par 5s on the back side while playing with Dye and Chris Hogue.
"He just drained everything," Hogue said of Parker's round. "He was a machine."
Hogue said that watching his two playing partners, who finished a combined 7-under, inspired him. He finished with 77.
"I usually shoot in the mid 80s," Hogue said. "Seeing them made me want to play better."
The Columbia County Junior Championship, in its second year, also includes groups for ages 16-18, 11-12, 9-10 and 6-8.
James Williams led the 16-18 group after the opening round. The Lincoln County golfer shot 2-under-par 70.
Carter Mobley led the 11-12 age bracket after Day 1 with 36.
Michael Cheesborough led the 9- and 10-year-olds with 38. And Kendall Mann fired 35 to lead those ages 6-8.
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