Hickingbotham takes early ASGA lead
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.