Joshua Martin made six birdies and one eagle Friday afternoon to take the outright lead of the North Carolina Amateur Championship at Carolina Golf Club.
Martin, a 17-year-old from Pinehurst who attends Pinecrest High, finished the round at 6-under-par 65, giving him a two-round score of 10-under par.
“I’m pretty confident with the way I am playing right now,” Martin said. “I’m excited to be playing with some great players (Saturday), and I’m excited for what the weekend holds.”
Martin, who has committed to play college golf at North Carolina, emphasized the importance of winning a prestigious tournament such as the N.C. Amateur.
“It would mean a lot,” Martin said. “There are a lot of great players in this tournament right now, and there are a lot great players who have come through the state of North Carolina, so it would be an honor to be a champion of the whole state.”
Bailey Patrick Jr., a Charlotte native who plays for North Carolina and shot a career-best 62 on Thursday, struggled on the greens Friday and finished tied for second with Greensboro’s Scott Harvey, one shot behind the leader.
“I wasn’t making as many putts,” Patrick said.
After making an eagle on his first hole, Patrick bogeyed the fourth hole and double-bogeyed the seventh before a birdie at No. 8 got him back on track.
“Today was a battle,” Patrick said. “I got off to a great start. I eagled my first hole, but then I three-putted my fourth hole and I just knew it wasn’t going to be the same kind of day.”
Raleigh’s Carter Jenkins, who plays for UNC Greensboro, made six birdies in his first nine holes. He shot 65 to finish three shots behind Martin and tying for fourth with Concord’s Trevor Cone (66) and Charlotte’s Jim Pearson (68). Huntersville’s Logan Harrell (67) is another shot back in seventh.
Jenkins said the course setup could lead to low scores this weekend.
“The course allows you to be a little errant off the tee because it is so wide open,” Jenkins said. “If you’ve got the length and a decent enough wedge game you can fire in some low numbers.”
Jenkins said he likes his chances heading into the weekend.
“I feel good.” he said. “I know right now I am only three back. If I can go out there and play a solid round (Saturday) like I did today, I should be positioned nicely for Sunday’s round.”