VALDOSTA -- The past Jack Oliver champions were honored Friday night at a function at Valdosta Country Club. One of them took a step toward adding another title Friday afternoon.
Four-time Jack Oliver champion Guy Whidby and Valdosta State golfer Matt Wiley each shot a 1-under 71 Friday to take the first-round lead at the 65th Jack Oliver Invitational.
Round two begins today with the championship-flight golfers going off Bellemeade No. 1 after 8 a.m.
The remainder of the tournament players open their part of the tournament after noon today.
The final round is Sunday, with the championship flight playing the Plantation and Bottom Nines.
The two leaders accomplished their score in different ways. Whidby answered a bogey 5 on Bottom No. 1 (the first hole) with birdies on the par 4s of Bottom Nos. 3 and 4.
After eight straight pars, Whidby bogeyed Bellemeade No. 4 (a par 3) and birdied Bellemeade No. 5 (a par 5). He finished with four pars.
Wiley was 2-over after 11 holes, making three bogeys in seven holes (Bottom Nos. 5 and 8 and Bellemeade No. 2), before recovering with three birdies on the final six holes (Bellemeade Nos. 4, 5 and 7).
Whidby and Wiley have a two-stroke lead over Phil Alday and Danny Daniels, who shot a 73. Larry Clark and Nate Balanis are at 74, while Terry Hiers, Jared Purvis and two-time champion Sam Hogan shot 75.
Three-time and defending Jack Oliver champion Nic Daugharty was at 76.
While Purvis, the Valdosta State golf coach, and Wiley's teammate Balanis played at VCC, another Blazer will be playing for a state title today.
Spencer Provow is third after the third round of the Tennessee Amateur.
Provow, a sophomore-to-be from Murfreesboro, Tenn., is at 2-under 214 after Friday's 72. He is three shots behind the leader.
Provow, along with former VSU golfer Tevis Upton, have qualified for the U.S. Amateur beginning Aug. 16.
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