Hick­ing­botham takes early ASGA lead

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SCOREBOARD -

Lit­tle Rock’s Hunter Hick­ing­botham made bold strokes Thurs­day on state am­a­teur golf’s big­gest stage.

The 2017 Bap­tist Prep grad­u­ate shot a 65 for the first-round lead in the Ar­kan­sas State Golf As­so­ci­a­tion Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship at DeSoto Golf Club in Hot Springs Vil­lage. Con­way’s Car­son Roberts is one stroke back in sec­ond, while the group at 68 in­cludes ASGA Hall of Famer and mul­ti­ple-win­ner Wes McNulty of White Hall and Jones­boro’s Trent Jones.

Texarkana’s Chuck Gard­ner (69) also broke 70 in the first round of the 54-hole event which con­cludes Satur­day.

Two-time de­fend­ing tour­na­ment cham­pion Austin Eoff of Ben­ton jeop­ar­dized his chances for a re­peat with a 74. A four­time NCAA All-Amer­i­can at Pur­due and re­cently named as­sis­tant golf coach at Rut­gers, Eoff won the 2015 state am­a­teur in a play­off against Bryon Shu­mate and Seth Gar­ner at the Coun­try Club of Lit­tle Rock. He re­peated last year at Hot Springs Coun­try Club with a one-stroke vic­tory over Dar­danelle’s Kerry Lott and Hope’s Gar­rett May.

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