Matthew Ladd, already a big winner in the Evansville Courier & Press Men’s City Golf Tournament after getting the Dan Scism Scholarship Award, showed he could play the game, too.
Then Noah Reese came in late with the same score to share with lead with a 2-under 69 of his own.
Reese played the front nine even and then came back to play the back 2-under after birdies at Nos. 11 and 12, before finishing with six straight pars.
“I drove the ball well,” said Reese. “I hit it straight and long all day and made a few putts early. The main thing is I didn’t make any mental mistakes.”
Ladd rode a 4-under par 31 on the front nine at Helfrich Hills Saturday to a 2-under par total of 69 for a one shot lead over three golfers heading into the second round Sunday at Fendrich.
“I did not expect to be in front,” said Ladd, who will be a freshman golfer at the University of Evansville. “I was just out there having fun.
“But I played really well on the front, my best competitive nine out here ever, and then held on when my putter let me down a little on the back (nine).”
Right behind Ladd at 1-under par 70 were three golfers. They included 2013 champion Logan Osborne, Jon Wagner and North sophomore-to-be Stewie Hobgood.
Defending champion Sean Stone was in a large group at 73 with another former champion, John Kaposta.
Osborne had one of the crazier rounds of the day. He got to 2-under after five holes, tumbled back to 4-over after nine and then played the back nine 5-under.
“I was able to stay loose all day, even after the eight at No. 6,” said Osborne. “I knew there were plenty of birdie holes left out here.”
Hobgood was steady throughout his round, carding two birdies on nos. 4 and 9 and one bogey on No. 16.
“It helped me playing with (Osborne and Stone),” said Hobgood. “I knew they were going to be there all day and then Logan really showed that on the back nine.
“I hit good wedges today. I just want to come out at Fendrich and do the same thing. I just want to keep up with my playing partners.”