Kennesaw State golfer Jake Fendt knew there was a 65 out there. He had already done it during a practice round at Druid Hills Golf Club over the weekend while playing with a member. So he stuck with the same game plan and repeated it in the first round of the 52nd Dogwood Invitational. It was enough to give Fendt the first-round lead at one of the state’s premier amateur invitationals.
Fendt didn’t qualify for the event last year and came in with modest expectations.
“My goal was to make the 54-hole cut and be around on the weekend,” he said. “I never really had a set-in-stone goal, just go out there and try to play my best”
Fendt learned from his practice round that there was no need to take a chance hitting a wild driver around the tight Druid Hills course. So he kept the big stick in the bag for most of the day and was content with hitting a 2-iron off most of the tees. He didn’t make a bogey all day.
“I’ve been struggling with my driver and I think I’m onto something,” Fendt said. “Honestly I hit my 2 iron off every single tee box and only hit driver where you can kind of spray it.”
What’s even more surprising about Fendt’s score is his lack of success on the par-5s. He settled for pars on three of the four, making only one birdie.
He is being pursued by Three players are one shot back. Spencer Ralston of the University of Georgia, Jacob Solomon of Auburn and David Laskin of the University of Arizona, who shot a. They each shot 66, and a.
The group at 67 that includes University of Georgia freshman Trent Phillips, Konrad Brauckmeyer of Peru, William Nottingham of Clemson, and Zachary Healy of Peachtree Corners, who just finished his career at Georgia.
Defending champion Lloyd Jefferson Go of Cebu, Philippines, opened with a 72.
There were 47 players who shot par or better under ideal scoring conditions.