Musselman ties lead, rain delay extends 1st round

Sports Reporter

An hour and a half lightning and rain delay pushed back multiple Wednesday afternoon groupings to finish Thursday morning at the 109th Southern Amateur Championship. But one amateur golfer sleeps well Wednesday night knowing he reached the clubhouse tied for first before the darkness settled over Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point.
Kentucky Wildcat golfer Cooper Musselman, who started off at 12:30 p.m. on the 10th tee box, birdied six times with one bogey. The redshirt sophomore’s round tied the opening day’s lowest score posted by New Zealand’s Joshua Munn, who had a 5-under 66.
“I didn’t expect a round as low as this one,” Musselman said. “I knew if I played my game of golf that I could be somewhere in the top 20. I ended up getting a round that has me tied for first … I wasn’t aware the lead was at 5-under until I checked my phone during the rain delay. I was kind of surprised to see my name at the top of it.”
Musselman was 4-under through 15 holes when the lightning flashed and the thundered rolled followed by big rain drops. The 20-year-old’s wait resulted in a bogey on the eighth before he rebounded with a birdie on the ninth hole, concluding his round tied with Munn.
“The delay definitely throws off your rhythm,” Musselman, who was 3-under on the back nine, said. “When you are playing nonstop, the rhythm gets thrown off. It is hard to get away from the relaxed mindset as soon as the horn blows again to resume play immediately.”
Musselman’s strong round might not be a surprise for him. Last month, Musselman finished sixth in the Kentucky Amateur and fourth in Birmingham, Ala.’s Greystone Amateur two weeks prior to the Southern Am.
“I have been playing good all summer, and I am glad to keep it up here,” Musselman said.
While Musselman has a great start to the tournament and only 18 holes on cut day, the majority of the afternoon groupings have 19 or more holes to complete. The first round will conclude Thursday morning, beginning at 7:30 a.m. The second round begins at the same time. The cut line is set by the Southern Golf Association at 70th and ties.

Follow Will Nations on Twitter @NationsSports. Read about co-leader Joshua Munn’s round and the opening portion of the first round in Thursday’s Daily Times Leader.