Double-bogey for Ragland reduces lead to one shot on a day for low scores Now it’s a golf tournament.
Former University of Florida player Toby Ragland is still the Jacksonville Amateur Championship leader but he came back to the field with a double-bogey on Friday at the par-4 18th hole of the Jacksonville Golf and Country Club and with a 74, is 3-under-par 141 after an opening 67 on Thursday.
After his tee shot found a fairway bunker and his second shot went into the water, Ragland’s four-shot lead at the beginning of the day is now one over two former Bolles players and recent college graduates, U Minn Woon (70) and Osborn Theam (69).
Ragland can’t be content with merely staying ahead of Woon and Theam in the final group. Another former Florida Gator and a past Amateur champion, Duke Butler IV (69) leads a group of five players at 1-under 143: Theam’s brother Dragon, a senior at Bolles; incoming University of Central Florida players Colin Kresl (72) and Jake Grula (71); and Butler’s Amateur Cup Match teammate Mark Spencer (70).
Jeff Golden (71) is alone in ninth at even-par 144 but certainly within range if the same conditions hold up on Saturday: little wind and players hitting into pure greens.
“I’m still the leader and if you gave me a one-shot lead to start the final round before I hit a shot, I would have taken it,” said the Bartram Trail gradaute. “I’m pretty good about putting bad shots behind me.”
Ragland got his score as low as 6-under with six holes to play after a chip-in birdie at the par-3 12th hole.
Osborn Theam chipped in for birdie at No. 18 to earn his piece of second place and Woon dropped a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 17.
Ragland was the only player to shoot in the 60s in the first round, and there were only two other under-par scores. But 10 players broke par in the second round (three in the 60s, as Butler, Theam and John Lobb all shot 69 to match the day’s low score) and four more came in at even par.
“I struggled hitting the ball but if you hit a good putt, it’s going to roll well,” Osborn Theam said. “These green are perfect.”
Theam graduated in May from LaGrange College, one of the top teams in the nation in NCAA Division III. Woon got his degree from Farleigh Dickinson, where he was the team’s No. 1 player for three years and won three college tournaments, including the Northeast Conference individual title in 2016.
As if there weren’t enough intersecting lines in the final three groups, Butler graduated from both Bolles and Florida but has something the other contenders don’t have: a Jacksonville Amateur Championship, in 2009.