E.A. Sports Today

Bo knows lead

Gadsden’s Bo Hayes shoots 8-under 64 to grab first-round lead in Alabama Open at Twin Bridges

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN — What a difference a year makes.

A year ago in his Alabama Open debut, Bo Hayes put together a solid weekend but a slow start just put him too far behind to catch up. This year, he’s put himself right out in front and has the field chasing him.

The former Jacksonville State player from Gadsden shot an 8-under-par 64 Friday on the same course he opened with a 73 a year ago and grabbed the opening-round lead of the Alabama Open at Twin Bridges Golf Club.

He leads by one over Thursday practice round partners and former UAB teammates Drew Mathers and William Walker III. Four players, Ty Cole and Centre’s Nick Sawyer among them, are in a logjam at 68.

The 73 Hayes shot in the opening round last year left him nine back of eventual winner Steven Setterstrom. He shot 67-68 on the weekend, but finished in six-way tie for fourth, eight shots off the pace.

“Last year it hurt,” he said. “I don’t remember what the lead was after the first round last year, but I remember just being pretty far back. I played well, I shot 67-68 the last two rounds, but it was so much of an uphill climb.

“I played with Drew and William yesterday — we play together in Birmingham all the time — and I knew they were playing well so I really wanted to get off to a good start. I got it going and kind of held on. It was a pretty stress-free round.”

Hayes owned the par-5s Friday, playing them in 6-under. He eagled No. 11 — his second hole of the day — after hitting a 9-iron from 162 yards to 18 inches. He made a 25-foot putt from behind the hole on 6 after hitting a 3-wood from 269 yards.

The only blemish was a bogey at 16 when he lipped out a par putt from seven feet.

“I made it pretty simple on myself,” he said. “I think I hit 16 greens and just really took care of the par-5s. I just made it pretty easy on myself, kind of stress-free round other the one bogey on 16.”

Mathers and Walker both enjoyed bogey-free rounds with an eagle. Mathers eagled 11 and Walker eagled 15.

Among other local players in the field, Twin Bridges’ assistant Tee Brown shot 71 on his birthday, Cider Ridge director of golf Jammie Lett shot an even-par 72, Oxford’s Harrison Hughston a 73, Ranburne’s Cody Robinson a 75 and Centre’s Mark Sawyer an 84.

ALABAMA OPEN (Top 15)
Bo Hayes, Birmingham313364
Drew Mathers, Mobile333265
William Walker III, Tuscaloosa343165
Paul McClure, Mobile353368
Colby Odom, Priceville333568
Jake DeZoort, Northport353368
Todd Bailey, Daphne333568
J. Michael Riley, Birmingham353469
Mike Genovese, Loxley343569
a-Price Brown, Mobile363369
a-Nick Sawyer, Centre353570
Jacob Greer, Sterrett363470
a-Gary Glassman, Madison373370
a-Ty Cole, Albertville323870
7 players at 71
a-amateur


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