Albertson could have gone lower than a 2-under par 69 in Tuesday’s first round of the qualifier at Atlanta’s Piedmont Driving Club. He couldn’t make enough birdie putts, especially on the final seven holes of the back nine.
The top five finishers after today’s round will advance to the U.S. Amateur, set for next month at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. This is the first of two Georgia qualifiers, with the second set for next week in Eatonton.
Albertson made the turn at 2-under after birdies on Nos. 2, 6 and 8 and a bogey on 4. After a bogey on 10 and birdie on 11, Albertson was even on his remaining seven holes.
“I didn’t get a whole lot to fall,” said Albertson, who was tied for 10th overall. “I had a lot of good looks but didn’t go in. I feel good about my game. One good round (today) and I’m in the tournament.”
If Albertson makes it to the U.S. Amateur, he would join his Georgia Tech teammate, Cobb County native Ollie Schniederjans, who’s already been assured of a spot as the world’s No. 1 amateur.
Five birdies on the back nine put Atlanta’s Chris Waters on top of the leaderboard with a 65. Savannah’s Joe Lewis, a rising senior at Mississippi, is second with a 66, going bogey-free and making five birdies during his round.
Canton’s Justin Johnson, a former Canton Golf Club champion, and Peachtree Corners’ Zach Healy, an incoming Georgia player, both shot 67 and were tied for third.
Five others were tied for fifth at 68, while Albertson was in a group of six at 69.
Johnson also had a bogey-free round, posting four birdies, with three on the back nine. Healy benefitted from an eagle on No. 6, which he followed up with birdies on 8, 9 and 15.
Woodstock resident Ryan Morley-Stockton will have to make up some ground today if he wants to be in contention, after shooting a 73 on Tuesday.
Morley-Stockton started his round with a birdie and was 1-under at the turn, but he didn’t fare as well in the back with bogeys on 10, 12 and 14.
Ball Ground’s Brandon Price made the cut on the line with a 76, despite three bogeys and a double bogey in his first six holes on the back nine. Then things started shaping up for Price with birdies on 17 and 18, and another on 5, but his momentum was dashed by another double bogey on 6.
Canton’s Madison Turner didn’t make the cut after shooting an 80.