Golf > Southeastern Amateur Kicks off at Columbus Country Club

| June 19, 2015
Columbus Ledger Enquirer Photo

Columbus Ledger Enquirer Photo

COLUMBUS — Prior to Thursday’s Southeastern Amateur second round, only two golfers had ever shot 62 at Country Club of Columbus.

On Thursday, that total doubled as both Carter Page (Waynesville, N.C.) and defending champion Grant Hirschman (Collierville, Tenn.) shot 62 to put themselves in first and second place, respectively, heading into Friday’s third round.

Hirschman was first to finish, matching the record and briefly taking the clubhouse lead in the tournament, which he won for the first time a year ago. His lead was short-lived, however, as Page matched the 62 and went ahead by a single stroke at 10-under.

The record was set by Carter Mize on Aug. 13, 1999 and Bryant Odom on June 14, 2001, prior to the course’s 2002 renovation.

Page actually had a shot at breaking the course record on the 18th green. After hitting his approach slightly long and to the left of the hole, he caught a break when the ball settled onto a sprinkler head. Rules officials gave him relief from lie, and he was able to putt to within six feet of the hole. His ensuing putt was for par and would have given him a 61 for the round, but it skirted the lip of the hole and didn’t fall. He made bogey to finish the round at 62.

“A bunch of things have to go your way to do something like that,” Page said of his 62. “But not everything can go your way. That last putt didn’t.”

Not that he was too worried about it. He had a round to remember prior to the final few holes, posting a 29 on the front nine and birdying four of the first six holes on the back side. He eagled two par-4s — Nos. 2 and 7 — by holing out shots off the green.

“That kind of helps,” he said. “It just ended up being one of those days where you continue to hit good shots and you’re in the zone and you just roll with it.”

Page knew going into the final few holes that Hirschman had already finished with a 62. He said he had checked his phone during the weather delay and saw what he had done.

Hirschman’s round wasn’t quite so dramatic — he didn’t make any eagles, and he had to make birdie on Nos. 17 and 18 to reach 62. He did, however, birdie the first five holes and made just one bogey all day.

“I got confidence with my putter early,” Hirschman said. “I started with five birdies, and a few were outside of 10 feet. It was just birdie look after birdie look. … My goal going into today was just to get myself back into a good position going into the last 36 holes.”

Just one stroke back, he has a legitimate shot at repeating as champion. Page plans to hold him and others off.

“I find that when you go out in a tournament and you try to get complacent and just hold a lead, that’s never good,” Page said. “Next two days, I’m just going to try keep my foot on the pedal.”

Other local players of note are Charlie Flowers, James Clark and Bobby Brent, each of whom are under par.

Flowers notched a 4-under par 67 in the second round to climb within five strokes of the leader. He is 5-under for the tournament. Clark, after a 4-under first round, shot 1-over on Thursday and is 3-under for the tournament at 139. Bobby Brent is 1-under at 141.

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