Ben Campbell took full advantage of his local knowledge Saturday, shooting an opening round 3-under-par 68 to take a two-shot lead in the 4th annual Tri-Cities Amateur Championship being held at the Country Club of Bristol.
“It’s my home course so I was able to take advantage in a couple of situations,” said Campbell. “But these young guys are good. Once they figure out the greens, I’m thinking they’ll really go low.”
CCB member Jace Devault is tied for second at 70 along with Nick Cohen. Nick York is fourth at even par 71.
In the Senior Championship, defending champion Tony Green went low early and finished with a 2-under 69.
James White is second at 71 with Bill Lewis and Brad Rinella tied for third at 74.
“I had it to 4 under at one point,” said Green. “Then I stumbled coming in and was lucky to shoot what I did.
“But the course is in perfect condition,” added Green. “It’s there to be had. Hopefully I can do better tomorrow.”
Campbell shot even par on the front nine and went to work on the back, coming home with a 3-under 33.
“The back is a little easier,” said Campbell. “My plan was to be even on the front and go for the par-5s on the back.
“We had a good group today and kind of fed off each other,” added Campbell. “The key for me was keeping it in the fairway off the tee. From the fairway you can really go after the pins.
“I’ll have to be more aggressive tomorrow if I expect to stay ahead of these guys.”
Also playing on his home course, Devault had to grind to finish with his 1-under.
“I scrambled all day,” said Devault. “Really, I made a bunch of 4 and 5 footers on the front to save my round. But overall it was a good round. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Sunday’s final round begins with the Seniors at 8 a.m.