USC rising senior Matt NeSmith shot a 5-under par 65 to hold the lead after the first round of stroke play at the US Amateur.
The Gamecock golfer from North Augusta lead a field of 312 golfers at the Olympia Fields Country Club.
NeSmith is the most recent SEC individual champion and this summer added the prestigious Players Amateur championship to his winning record.
He posted six birdies, including four in his first nine holes, and one bogey on the South Course for a one-stroke lead over four players.
“I got off to a good start, birdied 11,” said NeSmith. “It was a birdie pin and I hit a good tee shot, so I kind of expected that after being in the middle of the fairway. And then hit it really close on 13 and got on a little bit of a run.”
NeSmith, played in the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and is playing in his third consecutive U.S. Amateur, leads a group of four players at 66.
“I think it helped playing the Open,” said NeSmith. “It kind of made this not as big – I mean, big, but I’m not as nervous, I’m not as fidgety. I was able to relax a little bit more and play a great round of golf,” he added.
Clemson golfer Miller Capps shot an even par round of 70 and is tied for 30th place. Former Walker Cup golfer Todd White of Spartanburg shot a 2-over par 72 and is tied for 78th place.
High School golfer and USC commit Caleb Proveaux was 3-over par at 73.
Three time Carolina Amateur champion Carter Jenkins shot a 5-over par 75.
Picture from the USGA
complete scoring available at http://www.usga.org