Chris Wheeler, Bob Royak Lead After First Round Of John T. Lupton Memorial

  • Saturday, May 27, 2023
  • Paul Payne

Chris Wheeler set the tone early in Friday’s opening round of the Mid-Amateur Division of the John T. Lupton Memorial at The Honors Course. Teeing off in the first group of the 54-hole event, Wheeler carded a 6-under 66.

Wheeler, who hails from Addison, Texas, recorded seven birdies and a lone bogey, opening the back nine with birdies on three of the first four holes to seize a three-shot lead.

Former Tennessee golfer Jack Smith is second with a 3-under 69 after suffering bogeys on his last two holes, while a pair of local golfers – Mark Harrell and Derek Rende – join Sam Jackson with rounds of 70 to sit at 2-under, four shots back. Andrew Lawson tallied a hole-in-one on the eighth hole to highlight his round.

In the Senior Division, Alpharetta, Georgia’s Bob Royak – the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur champion - leads by two strokes after firing a 4-under 68 after posting five birdies and a single bogey. Michael Hughett shot a 2-under 70, while Doug Hanzel, Ken Kinkopf and Andy Fogarty posted rounds of 71.

The Lupton Memorial began in 2005, and this year’s event showcases the dynamic renovations at the The Honors Course that prevented the 2022 tournament being staged. The tournament is one of the most prestigious events on the mid-amateur circuit and is named after the club’s founder.

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