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April 29, 2021

Yuan, Hardy Take Huntsville Championship Day 1 Lead

Lee Hodges

Locals Hodges, Godsey 5 shots back after 1st round

A couple of big numbers slowed local favorites in the first round of the Huntsville Championship Thursday at The Ledges in Huntsville.

Ardmore’s Lee Hodges and Rogersville’s Conner Godsey shook off triple bogeys in their opening rounds and still managed to shoot under par to remain on the fringe of contention after the first round.

Hodges and Godsey each shot 1-under-par 69. They are tied for 39th place and five shots behind co-leaders Carl Yuan and Nick Hardy, who came in at 6-under 64.

Five players shot 65 and five more shot 64 in the opening round that featured a short fog delay. Play was suspended due to darkness with one group left on the course with one hole to play.

The tournament continues Friday ahead of the 36-hole cut.

Playing early and starting on the back nine, Hodges was 2-under through 10 holes before running into trouble on the 436-yard par 4 second hole, where he made triple bogey 7. He bounced back with birdies on Nos. 3-4, and then closed out his round with a bogey and birdie on the final five holes.

WTF: Surviving Triple Bogeys at the Huntsville Championship

Godsey, who survived a seven-man playoff in Monday’s qualifier at Hampton Cove, also started his round on the back nine. He got to 3-under through 15 holes before running into trouble at No. 7, a 441-yard par 4. His triple-bogey 7 knocked him back to even par, but he bounced back with a birdie at No, 8 to finish off his 69.

It was a strong first round for players with ties to Alabama. Birmingham’s Zach Sucher and Will Cannon were in the group at 65, while Pell City’s Will Willcox was in the group at 66.

Yuan, of Dalian, China, shot his 64 with eight birdies and two bogeys. Hardy, of Northbrook, Illinois, was bogey free in his 64.

Gregg Dewalt is the editor of Alabama Golf News.

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