By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
SAUCIER – Michael Collie swings for the flag instead of the fence these days.
The former Blue Mountain College golfer and Northeast Mississippi Community College baseball player heads into today’s third round of the MGA’s 98th annual State Amateur Championship with an opportunity to make some noise.
Collie overcame a rough first round – 4-over-par 76 – to post a 3-under 69 Friday at Grand Bear.
“I tried to play aggressive today and I putted really well,” said the Collierville, Tenn., resident. “I play my best golf when I play aggressive. I hope I can post a low round (today) and give myself a chance.”
Collie and Starkville’s Richard Reed are tied for 11th with 145s, eight shots behind leader Eddie Brescher III, who has fashioned back-to-back rounds of 68-69 for a 7-under 137.
Brescher, a former pro, is the golf coach at Millsaps College.
EDENS FOUR BACK
Okolona’s Barrett Edens, a Mississippi State golfer, recorded a 4-under 68 to move into a third-place tie with Saucier’s Jared Smith and Ocean Springs’ Steve Wilson at 3-under 141, four shots behind Brescher.
Pass Christian’s Nick Beale is second with a 4-under 140.
“I made a few more putts today and I had a few good swings,” Edens said.
“I can’t think a-bout anybody else (today and Sunday). I’ve got to handle my business.
“There are a lot of good players atop the leaderboard and still 36 holes left.”
Two-time defending State Am champion, MSU golf coach Clay Homan, is tied for 15th with a 76-77 – 147.
Ole Miss golfer, Noah West of Tupelo, is tied for 20th at 77-71 – 148. Tupelo’s Austin Rose (150), Tupelo’s David Griffin (152), Calhoun City’s T.J. Morgan (152), Potts Camp’s Jon Williams (152) and Hamilton’s Tracy Cockerham (154) made the cut.
Collie has putted well in this event. He made an eagle Thursday on No. 11, which kick-started a solid back nine.
He had four bogeys and one double bogey on the front.
He recorded five birdies during Friday’s round, but it was a 30-foot par putt on his fifth hole that made a huge difference in his round.