COLLEGE GROVE – One round is in the books at the 70th annual Franklin American Mortgage Tennessee Open, and a state title remains within reach for a large portion of the 144-player field.
Five golfers shared the lead after Tuesday’s action at The Grove, and 58 golfers are within five strokes of the top spot. Play continues today before the field is cut to the top 60 players and ties for Thursday’s final round.
Former Tennessee Open champion Bryce Ledford is joined by David Holmes, Chas Narramore, Hunter Wolcott and Stoney Crouch atop the leaderboard. All five turned in rounds of 3-under, 69 on the Greg Norman layout.
“I played solid,” said Narramore, who calls The Grove his home course after a standout collegiate career at nearby Middle Tennessee State University.
Narramore previously competed on the Web.com Tour, and is playing this week unsure of what his future in competitive golf holds.
“I had status on the Web a couple of years and lost it,” Narramore said. “I’m just trying to get back out there. I was actually fixing to give it up, but I’m just out there enjoying it today and we’ll see where it goes.”
Ledford won the tournament in 2009 when he fired a final-round 65 to beat Steven Fox by three strokes at Gaylord Springs Golf Links.
Ledford made the turn at 1-under on Tuesday and then birdied three of his next six holes to get to 4-under at one point before a bogey on No. 18.
Holmes, a former University of Tennessee standout and later a touring pro, birdied his first two holes of the day and had a rather uneventful round after that with two birdies and one bogey.
Wolcott and Crouch are playing in the same threesome the first two days. Wolcott’s father, Bob Wolcott, won the Tennessee Open back in 1983.
“Obviously, it would be special (to win),” Wolcott said. “My dad had an incredible career himself and I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps and create my own path.”
Seven players are tied for sixth, one stroke off the lead, highlighted by 2012 U.S. Amateur, 2013 Tennessee Amateur and 2014 Tennessee Open champion Steven Fox.
There are nine amateurs in the top 20 after day one, but Wolcott is the only one among the five players who share the lead.
For updates from the 70th annual Franklin American Mortgage Tennessee Open, follow the Tennessee Golf Association on Twitter at @TNgolf.