Atkinson 4-over after 1st round at state

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Andalusia senior Josh Atkinson didn’t get a chance to play the back nine holes at the Grand National Links Course during a practice round leading into Monday’s first round of the Class 4A state golf championship in Opelika.

That didn’t matter because Atkinson shot even on the back nine, and finished his first round with a 4-over 76.

“I played very well,” Atkinson said. “My short game was excellent, and I think it saved me.”

Atkinson birdied No. 6 and 8 on the front nine, and No. 12 on the back. He had five bogeys and one double bogey on the round.

On the back nine, he parred Nos. 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 to finish with a par 36.

Atkinson said he fell into his “groove” on the back nine.

“It’s funny,” he said. “During the practice round, I didn’t get a chance to play the back nine. For my first time, I kind of felt more in a groove on the back nine, than I did on the front nine.”

Currently, Atkinson is in a four-way tie for sixth place with Alexandria’s Cole McNeal, UMS-Wright’s Stephen Chiepalich and Oneonta’s Walker Edmondson.

Atkinson said he wanted to thank those that came out to support him on Monday, and that he’s looking forward to today’s round.

Atkinson will tee off at 11:48 a.m. today, and he’ll play with Alexandria’s Dalton Chandler and McNeal.

Guntersville’s Reagan Harrell is in the lead after an even par first round.