Former Stratford standout Russell Henley’s name is right there among the leaders after Saturday’s first round of the Brickyard Collegiate Championship.
But Henley, a Georgia junior who shot a 3-under-par 69, wasn’t the only Macon product to play well in the first round.
Former FPD star Taylor Floyd rebounded from a slow start to shoot a 1-under 71 for Augusta State, and former Stratford standout Thomas Holmes had a 76 for Mercer.
“I wasn’t putting it well, really, all day, but I was hitting it great, so it kind of evens out,” said Floyd, who is playing in the tournament for the second time. “I made a couple of bogeys early, but I battled back, so that’s good.”
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Floyd was 2 over through four holes, saying he hit his shot on the second hole right of the target and hit his shot on the fourth long. But those were his only two bogeys, and he was 3 under on the back nine.
“I was just a little bit smarter after I hit in some bad places,” Floyd said. “Other than that, those were my only two bogeys, so that’s pretty good.”
Holmes was solid throughout his round until he got to the final two holes. After starting his day with a birdie, Holmes was sitting at 2 over heading to the 17th hole, but he finished bogey-bogey to end his round on a tough note.
“That leaves a sour taste in your mouth,” Holmes said. “But I didn’t play that bad. Overall, it was a good day. I felt like I shot better than I did, but I made a bogey here and a bogey there, and the next thing you know, I shot a 76.”
Holmes’ round wasn’t helped by four bogeys on the back nine, including on the two par-5s.
“That was the worst part of my round,” Holmes said. “The par-5s are the holes you have to go after out here, and to bogey them is ... not good.
“But I’m not upset with how I played. I always think I can do better. Overall, I’m pretty pleased and think I can come out here (today) and play better. I got the first round out of the way and got rid of the first-round jitters.”
Mercer is 13th in the team standings, 17 shots behind Augusta State, which had the only sub-par total in the first round. The Jaguars carry a nine-shot lead into the second round.
Floyd is tied for ninth in the individual competition.
“That’s awesome,” Floyd said of his team’s play. “In our two tournaments, we hadn’t really played up to our potential. But it’s good to see everybody play the way we’re supposed to play; that’s really exciting. I just want to make sure the team wins; that’s the main thing. And we’ll worry about myself later.”