Jack Fields was the only player under par Friday at Ocean Forest Golf Club and took the early lead at the Jones Cup.
Despite a double-bogey at the par-4 12th, Fields turned in a 2-under 70 to lead by two shots after Round 1. Fields, of Southern Pines, N.C., finished among the top 10 in all four of his fall events as a junior at North Carolina and was a team-high No. 74 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. He no longer is on the Carolina roster.
Tied for second at 1-over 73 are Ole Miss senior Jonathan Randolph, 2009 Walker Cupper Bud Cauley and a pair of junior golf standouts – Texas signee Jordan Spieth, No. 2 in the Golfweek Junior Rankings, and Stanford signee Patrick Rodgers (No. 8).
Spieth was leading the tournament for much of Round 1, but was done in by a bumpy closing stretch that saw him play the final four holes in 4 over.
Sitting in sixth place is 2009 U.S. Public Links Champion Brad Benjamin (74), who is one shot ahead of a group of college stars at T-7 that includes defending champion Patrick Reed – a junior at Augusta State. Illinois’ Luke Guthrie, Ohio State’s Bo Hoag, Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick and Pepperdine’s Andrew Putnam also shot 75. Putnam is coming off a win at last week’s Arizona Intercollegiate.
U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, is tied for 49th after a 7-over 79.