NCAA champ Peterson leads Nationwide event

LSU's John Peterson during Thursday stroke play at the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship.

NCAA champion John Peterson shot an opening 7-under 64 to take the first-round lead at the Nationwide Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.

Peterson, who recently graduated from LSU, made nine birdies against a pair of bogeys to move one clear of Aaron Watkins on Ohio State’s Scarlet course. Peterson also won the Jones Cup, a premier amateur event, in February.

Recent Georgia grad Harris English shot 66 to join Brian Smock in a tie for third. Both English and Peterson have remained amateur with hopes of making the U.S. Walker Cup team.

Daniel Summerhays won the Columbus Nationwide Tour stop as an amateur in 2007. Recent Georgia grad Russell Henley, who is not in the field, won the Nationwide Tour's Athens Stadion Classic as an amateur earlier this year.

Peterson and English earned their way into the field by being named a Division I All-American. Joining them in Columbus from the college ranks are Oklahoma State’s Peter Uihlein (T-26), Georgia Tech’s J.T. Griffin, who is playing as a professional (T-50), Stanford’s Andrew Yun (T-50), Augusta State’s Patrick Reed (T-50), Florida’s Bank Vongvanij (T-80), Georgia Tech’s James White (T-80), Illinois’ Luke Guthrie (T-99), Auburn’s Blayne Barber (T-120) and Ohio State’s Bo Hoag (143rd).

UCLA's Patrick Cantlay was offered an exemption, but is instead playing the PGA Tour's Canadian Open after placing in the top 25 in the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship and the AT&T National.

Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification