JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Columbus' Jimmy Beck blistered the Atlanta Athletic Club Highlands Course with a 6-under-par 65 to share the lead Monday in the U.S. Amateur.
He is tied with England’s Sam Horsfield, who shot a 6-under 66 on the Riverside Course.
“It feels so good,” Beck said. “I've been playing well coming into this, and just to see putts fall, continue to fall and just hit it where you want to hit it, it's a good feeling.
“So today I didn't really have any expectations for today or for the week. I was just really trying to have fun and end the summer right, and what better way to do it than right here in Georgia?”
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For the two rounds of stroke play, each of the 312 players in the field will play once on Highlands and once on Riverside. Beck will play the par-72 Riverside Course on Tuesday. He tees off at 9:10 a.m.
The field will be trimmed to the low 64 scores after Tuesday's round. Match play will begin on Wednesday. The player with the best score will play the player with the 64th best, No. 2 will play No. 63, etc.
There are 71 players at even par or better.
Beck started on the front nine and made birdies on the par 4 second and third to go 2 under. He added birdies on 7, 8, 10 and 11 to get to 6 under.
Beck cooled off with a bogey on the 364-yard 13th. But he got the stroke back on the 550-yard par-5 17th.
“I'm really confident,” Beck said. “I just came off a second place finish in the Georgia Open, shot some really good numbers even for me out there at a home course. It seems like putts have been falling in these past few weeks, even to qualify for here when I co-medaled at Great Waters, things are just clicking. It's good to see it's still flowing.”
Beck was three shots better than anyone else playing on Highlands. Cheng-Tsung Pan, Robby Shelton, Guillermo Pereira and Taylor MacDonald all shot 3 under on Highlands.
Cameron Young is third overall after a 4-under 68 on Riverside. Six players shot 3 under on Riverside.
Beck, who is a rising senior on the Kennesaw State golf team, was an individual and team state champion at Columbus High.
“It would be nice to win, but I've been telling people all along my main goal and focus is to make it to match play,” Beck said. “So no matter how high I finish, once you get to match play, it's a different game so it doesn't really matter what you had shot. It's one hole at a time and just a completely different game.”