Tim Mickelson tied for Porter Cup lead

University of San Diego coach Tim Mickelson.

University of San Diego coach Tim Mickelson.

Tim Mickelson, brother of PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson, is part of a three-way tie atop the leaderboard after the first round of the Porter Cup.

Mickelson made seven birdies Wednesday at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y., including five in his back-nine 30. A lone bogey left him with a 6-under 64.

Mickelson is the head coach at the Univeristy of San Diego, but also has had a successful mid-am career. He tied for sixth at the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur and finished second in medal play at last year’s Mid-Am. He also led the Toreros to a T-13 finish at the NCAA Championship in May.

Joining Mickelson at the top of the leaderboard is soon-to-be Texas freshman Cody Gribble and Austrailia’s Brendan Smith. Gribble, 18, played a bogey-free round, while Smith finished with a 31 on the back nine, thanks in part to an eagle at the 554-yard par-5 11th. Gribble finished third at the Jones Cup and seventh at the Sunnehanna Amateur earlier this year.

Nathan Smith, who finished T-7 at last week’s Southern Amateur, bogeyed the par-3 18th to finish one shot off the lead. Smith has been a top-10 machine this year, tying for seventh at the Northeast Amateur and tying for forth at the Sunnehanna, as well as winning the West Pennsylvania Amateur.

Smith, who is No. 10 on Golfweek’s Walker Cup Watch List, was paired with U.S. Walker Cup Captain Buddy Marucci in the first round.

Defending champion Adam Mitchell had a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys for an even-par 70. The recent Georgia graduate is tied for 30th.

Other first-round notables: South Carolina alum Mark Anderson (66), Players Amateur champ Bud Cauley (67), North & South winner David Chung (68) and 2007 Porter Cup Champion and 2009 Dogwood Invitational champion Brian Harman (69).

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