E.A. Sports Today

Hunter takes lead

Mobile pro bounces back from playoff loss to post bogey-free 65, opens two-shot lead in Cider Ridge Classic

By East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Any bad feelings Wesley Hunter might have had over coming up short in a sudden-death playoff Wednesday didn’t last long.

The 26-year-old pro from Mobile shot a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 Thursday to grab the first-round lead in the Rolling Red Tour’s Cider Ridge Classic.

He leads Birmingham’s Bo Hayes by two shots. Tour points leader Matt Elliott of Hoschton, Ga., is another two back. They were the only three players to post red numbers Thursday.

Hunter shot 68 Wednesday in the Cider Ridge Shootout and lost to Keller Harper’s eagle on the first hole of sudden death. He has won twice on the Tour this season.

He was just as sharp Thursday. He turned in 4-under and was 5-under through 10 after a stretch of four birdies in five holes.

Hayes also made seven birdies, but they were offset by bogeys on 7 and 10. Elliott’s round was highlighted by consecutive birdies on 9, 10 and 11.

The tournament wraps Friday.

Cider Ridge Classic Leaderboard

Wesley Hunter, Birmingham323365
Bo Hayes, Birmingham333467
Matt Elliott, Hoschton, Ga.353469
Noel Sims, Phoenix364379
J. Michael Riley, Birmingham394079
Alan Graves, Clinton, Miss.423779
a-Joseph Vinyard, Gardendale443983

7:30 a.m. — Alan Graves, Clinton, Miss.; a-Joseph Vinyard, Gardendale
7:39 — Noel Sims, Phoenix; J. Michael Riley, Birmingham
7:48 — Wesley Hunter, Birmingham; Bo Hayes, Birmingham; Matt Elliott, Hoschton, Ga.

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