Aussie Felton, Funk share lead at Southern Am

Sports Reporter

It was easy to heat up – physically and figuratively – during the afternoon wave on Thursday afternoon at the 109th Southern Amateur Championship.
Australian Jarryd Felton did just that in the tournament’s second round to find a share of the lead.
Felton was one stroke better from his first round as he shot a 4-under 67 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point. Sparked by an eagle on the back nine, Felton tied Taylor Funk, who fired a 6-under second, putting Funk (70-65) in the lead with a 7-under 135 total after the morning wave.
“I knew some of the guys said a few guys went low,” Felton, who was 3-under after the first round, said. “The pins were in an easy position. The plan for tonight is the same as other nights. I am going to have a big feed and get to bed real early.”
Felton pulled his tee shot on the 15th tee box, but his 200-yard approach shot, out of the rough, landed his ball 3 feet away from the pin. With the ball extremely near the hole, the Australian made eagle on the Par-5. He added two more birdies on the front nine as he became a co-leader in the clubhouse at the end of two rounds.
“I got really close to the hazard after my tee shot, but it gave me a really good angle at the flag,” Felton said. “I got within three-foot on the putt. It really got me going. It was unbelievably hot, and I can’t stop sweating. But you can’t hole them all here but to get a couple here or there is nice.”
Felton and Funk, the son of Champions Tour star Fred Funk, are one stroke ahead of the nearest contenders Tom Lovelady and Joshua Lee, who are tied in third at 6-under 136.
Lee had an opportunity to hold a share of the lead after two rounds, but the Florida State Seminole two-putted on his final hole, missing a birdie opportunity. Lee has fired a pair of 68’s in his opening rounds.
“Missing a birdie putt is just a part of the game,” Lee said. “I am trying to have fun out here. The group I played with the past couple of days has been great. It’s been a lot of fun. There are 36 more holes left, and it is great knowing that much golf is left.”
Lovelady had a 4-under 67 Thursday after a 2-under 69 in Wednesday’s opening round. Lovelady had six birdies to offset two bogeys in the process.
Two of five Mississippians in the field made the 1-over 143-stroke cut. Braden Thornberry of Olive Branch added another stress-free round as he moved to a 1-under 141 (71-70) on Thursday. However, his in-state counterpart Davis Riley (71-71) of Hattiesburg used a 99-foot chip to eagle the Par-5 ninth, his final green, to make the cut at even 142.
“I hit the ball very well, and I think I should be leading this thing. My putts haven’t been there though,” Davis said. “I am going to keep plugging away the next few days. As one of the few Mississippians, I would like to represent well and come out with a win.”
The third round begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday at Old Waverly.

Follow Will Nations on Twitter @NationsSports for Friday’s third round updates from the Southern Am at Old Waverly. Read about Taylor Funk's outstanding 7-under Thursday in Friday's Daily Times Leader.

36-hole Leaders, 109th Southern Amateur
Old Waverly Golf Club, Par 71, 7,088 yards

Taylor Funk, Ponte Vedra FL.............60-65--135
Jarryd Felton, Perth, Aus..................68-67--135
Joshua Lee, Orange Park FL.............68-68--136
Tom Lovelady, Birmingham AL...........69-67--136
Cooper Musselman, Louisville KY......66-71--137
Lee Hodges, Elkmont AL...................70-67--137
Sepp Straka, Valdosta GA................69-68--137
Henry Maybett, Griffin GA.................69-68--137
Dawson Armstrong, Brentwood TN.....70-67--137
Cameran Davis, Sydney AUS........... 70-67--137