KSU’s Beck leads local contingent at Dogwood
by Carlton D. White
June 26, 2014 04:00 AM | 1663 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local golfers Jimmy Beck, Michael Hines and Michael Garretson all finished under-par Wednesday in the first round of the Dogwood Invitational at Druid Hills Golf Club.

Beck fired a 4-under 68 and was tied for ninth in the field of 92, while Hines (70) is tied for 25th and Garretson (71) tied for 36th.

All three are chasing Hines’ Georgia Tech teammate, Seth Reeves, who sat atop the leaderboard at 7-under 65. Robert Mize, a junior at Columbus State and the son of former Masters champion Larry Mize, joined Zachary Healy, an incoming freshman at Georgia, in a tie for second at 66. Five others shot 67.

More than half of the field — 61 golfers — were either even or below par after Wednesday’s round.

“This is a different style of amateur tournament,” said Hines, the former Kell High School who took a redshirt this past season at Georgia Tech and will be a sophomore next year. “This one is a birdie-fest. You need to make four to five a day just to keep up. It’s fun to go out there and have that mentality and see how many you can make, especially on the par-5s. Get birdies there and do well on the other holes.”

Hines’ solid round saw him complete the front nine at 1-under. He quickly bogeyed the par-4 No. 10, but he had birdies at 13 and 18 to finish five strokes behind Reeves, who recently finished his final season as a Yellow Jacket.

“I didn’t really have anything special with my round,” Hines said. “It’s a course you can go low on if you make putts. I missed two short ones, but made some good ones, so it all evened out.”

Beck, a rising senior at Kennesaw State who tied for 10th at last year’s Dogwood, struggled off the tee at 10, which he bogeyed. He rallied with three birdies over the next four holes to move to 2-under, but he gave it all away with bogeys on 17 and 18 and went into the turn even.

Beck’s experience and knowledge paid off on the front nine, however, as he birdied three of his first five holes, en route to his 4-under total.

“I’m actually really pleased with the way I played the front nine,” Beck said. “My two bogeys on 17 and 18 were misreads, and I three-putted those, but I hit the ball better (Wednesday) than I had I had been lately. I felt comfortable and putted better than I did all season, so I’m happy with how I played.”

Although Beck didn’t favor the front or back nine holes, he said he was excited to start today’s round from No. 1 after the way he performed Wednesday.

“With those two par-5s late on the front nine, you can really get momentum going into the back nine,” he said. “I look forward to getting back out there (today).”

Garretson, a former Harrison standout entering his senior season at South Alabama, placed seventh at last year’s Dogwood. He came out of the turn at No. 9 at 1-under, but a double-bogey at 10 left him 1-over. An eagle on the par-5 14th got him back to 1-under, which is where he finished his first round.

“It was a dumb error on 10 where I hit it over the green and three-putted,” Garretson said. “I made a 10- to 15-foot putt for eagle, so that felt good. I felt like I putted a lot better than I did. Sometimes, they fall and, sometimes, they don’t. I’m pleased with my round, but it will probably take 20-under to win this tournament, so I have some work to do. I need some putts to fall (today).”

Defending champion Michael Johnson shot 76, while Mableton resident Brian Katrek (77) was tied for 80th.

The tournament at the par-72, 6,850-yard course resumes today. Golfers will play four rounds, with a 54-hole cut to the low 40 and ties following Friday’s third round.
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