Brown storms to lead at State Open

MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) - With many of the favorites struggling at Independence Golf Club, one local pro took the lead after the first round of the SunTrust State Open of Virginia Thursday.

Ted Brown, 33, of Richmond shot an opening day 7-under-par 65 and owns a two-stroke leading Friday's second round.

Brown, the 2005 champion, logged eight birdies and a bogey to own the top spot. PGA professional Jeffrey Thomas, 39, of Lynchburg and the head men's golf coach at Liberty University, returned 5-under 67, accounting for the low round of the afternoon.

Professionals occupy five of the top six spots on the bunched leader board; 23 competitors posted rounds between 69 and 71. A contingent of four competitors had 69: John O'Leary, 37, of Reston, the PGA director of instruction at Hidden Creek Country Club, fellow northern Virginian Steven Pierce, 26, of Centreville, the assistant professional at Chantilly National Golf and Country Club, Patrick Hawkins, 34, the assistant PGA professional at Willow Oaks Country Club in Richmond and central Virginian Bryce Chalkley (Richmond), a 19-year-old rising junior at Virginia Tech, who registered the low score among the amateurs.

The seven competitors at 2-under 70 includes Jake Mondy, 19, of Blacksburg, this summer's VSGA Amateur champion, and Chip Sullivan, the PGA director of golf at Hanging Rock Golf Club in Salem, and a four-time runner-up at the championship in six years.

Altogether, 24 competitors posted rounds in red numbers on day one.

Brown has played in only a few tournaments this year, but one would've never guessed it by his shining play this week. He shot a scorching 11-under 60 in Monday's Open qualifier at Providence Golf Club in Richmond and his strong play continued in Thursday's first round. He logged eight birdies and a bogey; seven of his birdies came inside 15 feet and his longest conversion was a 35-footer at the par-4 second, his 11th hole of the day, on some soft putting surfaces in the morning. He finished birdie-birdie to complete the hot putting round in simmering weather conditions.

Admittedly, getting the opportunity to be on the competitive stage means a lot to Brown, who last started at the State Open in 2008 when he held the first round lead after shooting 66 before finishing in a tie for 13th place. This year he took part in U.S. Open local and sectional qualifying before the qualifier at Providence – that's been it for Brown's competitive golf in 2012.

When he won seven years ago at Willow Oaks Country Club, he shot 64 in the morning before going on to notch a three-stroke victory. Brown had an option for a morning starting time slot in the first round of this year's championship and didn't hesitate; he had the next-to-last starting time off No. 10 in the morning session.

After breaking his collarbone in February, Brown missed about two months and couldn't do anything but putt while recovering. It proved to be time well-spent.

Brown says he's comfortable holding the lead and knows the importance of avoiding the layout's thick, club-twisting rough while continuing to roll the ball smoothly on putting surfaces that were  receptive in the morning.

Thomas played the four par 5s in three under par to complement consistent putting. He drained putts of 20 feet at the par-3 11th and knocked in a 25-footer at the par-4 18th to complete his seven birdie, two bogey round. Nearly a half-dozen up and downs kept his round going.

O'Leary ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 13-17, with his longest putt being a 10-footer to complete the surge at the par-5 17th.

Pierce (five) and Chalkley's (four) birdies came inside 6 feet. Pierce birdied four of the first five holes on the second nine, only to catch a thick lie in the rough at the par-4 15th where he made double bogey.

Chalkley hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation to shoot the second-lowest round in the afternoon to join the logjam at three under.

Hawkins played the developmental tours for 10 years before becoming a club professional. He played bogey-free on the inward nine with three birdies.

Following Friday's second round, the field will be cut to the low 70 competitors and ties for the final two rounds, set for Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22.

Results following the first round of the 2012 SunTrust State Open of Virginia at Independence Golf Club (7,033 yards, par 36-36—72) on Thursday, July 19.

(a – denotes amateur)

Ted Brown (Glen Allen), 32-33—65

Jeffrey Thomas, PGA (Lynchburg), 34-33—67

(a) – Bryce Chalkley (Richmond), 34-35—69

Patrick Hawkins, PGA (Richmond), 36-33—69

John O'Leary, PGA (Reston), 37-32—69

Steven Pierce (Centreville), 34-35—69

(a) – Jake Mondy (Blacksburg), 37-33—70

(a) – Ji Soo Park (Centreville), 33-37—70

(a) – Jeremy Wells (Hopewell), 38-32—70

(a) – Weston Eklund (Charlottesville), 35-35—70

(a) – Josh Apple (Lansdowne), 37-33—70

Chip Sullivan, PGA (Troutville), 34-36—70

Ricky Touma, PGA (Olney), 36-34—70

(a) Jack Adkins (Martinsville), 34-37—71

(a) – Matthew Ball Jr. (Richmond), 34-37—71

(a) – Marshall Tinsley (Amherst), 36-35—71

(a) – Ian Hildebrand (Purcellville), 33-38—71

(a) – Maxwell Wyndorf (Richmond), 37-34—71

(a) – Andrew Tilley (Ringgold), 36-35—71

(a) – Chase Duffy (Virginia Beach), 36-35—71

Eric Cobb, PGA (Verona), 35-36—71

Jay Woodson (Richmond), 33-38—71

Phillip Collier (Sutherland), 36-35—71

Peter Badawy (McLean), 36-35—71

Jimmy Flippen (Danville), 35-36—71

(a) – Roger Newsom (Virginia Beach), 36-36—72

(a) – Scott Davidson (Round Hill), 37-35—72

(a) – Jon Hurst (Fredericksburg), 37-35—72

(a) – Joe Morton (Virginia Beach), 35-37—72

(a) – Nick Austin (Midlothian), 36-36—72

Tim Crumrine (Richmond), 37-35—72

(a) –Scott Shingler (Haymarket), 37-36—73

(a) – Jimmy Delp (Arlington), 36-37—73

(a) – Ross Sumner (Callao), 34-39—73

(a) – Jerry Burton (Gordonsville), 38-35—73

(a) – Michael Wade (Floyd), 36-37—73

Adam Decker, PGA (Mechanicsville), 40-33—73

Sean English, PGA (Westminster, Md.), 38-35—73

John Francisco, PGA (Westminster, Md.), 35-38—73

(a) – Keith Decker (Martinsville), 35-39—74

(a) – James Gallagher (Yorktown), 38-36—74

(a) – Dan DeRisio (Springfield), 37-37—74

(a) – Philip Mahone (Charlottesville), 35-39—74

(a) – Kevin Yerks (Ashburn), 40-34—74

(a) – Alex Sleeker (Richmond), 37-37—74

(a) – Buck Brittain (Tazewell), 37-37—74

(a) – Neel Williams (Richmond), 39-35—74

(a) – Dylan Jensen (Ridgeway), 38-36—74

Mike Gooden, PGA (McGaheysville), 38-36—74

Scott Graber, PGA (Chesterfield), 37-37—74

Ben Hogan, PGA (Fairfax), 37-37—74

Faber Jamerson, PGA (Appomattox), 38-36—74

Jay Lindell (Fairfax), 38-36—74

Rick Schuller, PGA (Chester), 36-38—74

Ryan Zylstra (Richmond), 35-39—74

(a) – Mikey Moyers (Stanardsville), 37-38—75

(a) – Aaron Eckstein (Salem), 36-39—75

(a) – Tom Adrounie (Fairfax Station), 39-36—75

(a) – Brantley Kushner (Leesburg), 35-40—75

(a) – Zack Henry (Front Royal), 39-36—75

(a) – Jerry Morelli (Williamsburg), 39-36—75

(a) – Ben Campbell (Cleveland), 38-37—75

(a) – Connor Walters (Salem), 37-38—75

(a) – Wes Smith (Virginia Beach), 37-38—75

(a) – Tim Osterbind (Midlothian), 40-35—75

(a) – Sam Williams (Midlothian), 36-39—75

Michael Ferguson, PGA (Glen Allen), 35-40—75

Josh Speight, PGA (West Point), 40-35—75

(a) – Mike Minicucci (Richmond), 38-37—75

(a) – Garrett Whitmore (Midlothian), 39-37—76

(a) – Mike Redwood (Virginia Beach), 40-36—76

(a) – Jack Wilkes (Roanoke), 38-38—76

(a) – John David Sanderson (Suffolk), 39-37—76

(a) – Bowen Sargent (Charlottesville), 39-37—76

(a) – Spence Andrews (Glen Allen), 38-38—76

(a) – Conner Hayden (Chilhowie), 40-36—76

Billy Hoffman, PGA (Bethesda, Md.), 38-38—76

Bryan Jackson, PGA (Palmyra), 37-39—76

Mike Morrone, PGA (Glen Allen), 39-37—76

Chad Moseley, PGA (Reston), 40-36—76

Jody Rokisky, PGA (New Market), 39-37—76

(a) – Scott Cornwell (Marshall), 38-39—77

(a) – Robert Bradshaw (Virginia Beach), 40-37—77

(a) – Kyle Hart (Midlothian), 39-38—77

(a) – Steve Serrao (Midlothian), 36-41—77

(a) – Ryan Douglass (Leesburg), 37-40—77

Dave Ambrose, PGA (Chevy Chase, Md.), 42-35—77

Steve Bogdanoff, PGA (Fairfax), 41-36—77

Jon Corliss, PGA (Virginia Beach), 40-37—77

Michael Farewell, PGA (Manassas), 38-39—77

Mike Gebhard, PGA (Glen Allen), 40-37—77

Tommy Joyce, PGA (Salem), 39-38—77

Tim Lewis, PGA (Hampton), 38-39—77

Justin Martin (Williamsburg), 37-40—77

Dean Sumner, PGA (Callao), 39-38—77

Troy Thorne (Warsaw), 38-39—77

Gray Thouron, PGA (Richmond), 40-37—77

Andy Weissinger, PGA (Portsmouth), 39-38—77

Tim White, PGA (Midlothian), 41-36—77

Cameron Yancey (Blackstone), 39-38—77

(a) – Ryan Rettberg (Front Royal), 37-40—77

(a) – Steve Castro (Chantilly), 39-39—78

(a) – Chris Slonaker (Harrisonburg), 38-40—78

(a) – Alec Kormanec (Vienna), 41-37—78

(a) – Brian Hood (Stafford), 38-40—78

(a) – Chas Bassing (Great Falls), 40-38—78

(a) – Chris Tuttle (Virginia Beach), 39-39—78

(a) – Christopher Kapsak (Richmond), 40-38—78

Randolph Darden, PGA (Blacksburg), 41-37—78

Paul Gooden, PGA (Harrisonburg), 39-39—78

Brendan McGrath, PGA (Centreville), 41-37—78

Robert Schultz, PGA (Zion Crossroads), 38-40—78

(a) – David Peters (Richmond), 39-39—78

Jason Toryk, PGA (Winchester), 42-36—78

Jeff Long (Centreville), 39-39—78

(a) – Greg Pappas (Warrenton), 37-42—79

(a) – Hunter Weaver (Orange), 39-40—79

Sam Boyd (Bethesda, Md.), 41-38—79

Pleasant Hughes, PGA (Chevy Chase, Md.), 39-40—79

Tim Butler, PGA (Windsor Mill), 41-38—79

Geoff Redgrave, PGA (Crozet), 39-40—79

Mike Thompson, PGA (Gordonsville), 40-39—79

(a) – Sean Bowers (Richmond), 40-40—80

(a) – Gary Cicatiello (Providence Forge), 43-37—80

(a) – Mike Brennan (Leesburg), 39-41—80

(a) – Casey Wadkins (Manakin-Sabot), 39-41—80

Ed Collins, PGA (Virginia Beach), 41-39—80

Mark Lambert, PGA (Suffolk), 38-42—80

Joseph Lussier (Lovettsville), 42-38—80

Peter Mazza, PGA (Richmond), 42-38—80

Geoff Montross, PGA (Fairfax), 38-42—80

Brett Robertson, PGA (Midlothian), 41-39—80

Greg Scott, PGA (Arlington), 39-41—80

Joey Beeler (Virginia Beach), 39-42—81

Bob Dolan, PGA (Chevy Chase, Md.), 41-40—81

Mark Guttenberg, PGA (Aldie), 39-42—81

Steve Miller, PGA (Ranson), 41-40—81

Ryan Nebera, PGA (Midlothian), 36-45—81

David Newsom, PGA (Leesburg), 43-38—81

Brian Poniatowski (Leesburg), 43-38—81

(a) – Rich Buckner (Centreville), 42-40—82

(a) – Trey Treadwell (Haymarket), 42-40—82

(a) – Harrison Vance (Richmond), 41-41—82

Glenn Brown, PGA (Vienna), 43-39—82

Steve Danielson, PGA (Alexandria), 38-44—82

(a) Alex Elmore (Reston), 43-40—83

Steve WenPetren, PGA (Herndon), 40-43—83

Dan Baker, PGA (Midlothian), 45-38—83

(a) – Ian Sikes (Henrico), 44-40—84

Edward Armentrout, PGA (Greenville), 43-41—84

Jerry Donahue, PGA (Purcellville), 41-43—84

Roger Hatcher, PGA (Manassas), 41-43—84

(a) – Brian Johnson (Spotsylvania), 48-36—84

(a) – Christian Grundeman (Mclean), 42-43—85

(a) – Justin Nichols (Roanoke), 45-40—85

Ryan Robertson (Roanoke), 43-42—85

Michael Bell, PGA (Gainesville), 43-43—86

Keith Hageman (Henrico), 41-45—86

Kevin Haney, PGA (Charlottesville), 44-42—86

Robert Weinerth, PGA (Martinsville), 44-42—86

Gary Anderson, PGA (Hampton), 46-41—87

Jim Fitzgerald, PGA (Chevy Chase), 43-44—87

(a) – Aaron Bryant (Prince George), 45-43—88

Rocky Fryar, PGA (Richmond), 42-46—88

(a) Edward Cutler (Leesburg), 43-46—89

(a) – Cory Amory (Free Union), WD

(a) – Kyle Lemish (Harrisonburg), DQ

(a) – Jeff Hunter (Ashburn), NC

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