Middle Township's David Hicks had a tough first round at the 117th U.S. Amateur Championship on Monday in Pacific Palisades, California.
The three-time Press High School Player of the Year shot a nine-over par 79 and is 15 strokes back of the leaders.
Norman Xiong, of San Diego, who won the Western Amateur two weeks ago, Mark Lawrence Jr., of Richmond, Virginia, and Hayden Wood, of Edmond, Oklahoma, each posted 6-under-par 64s to share a two-stroke lead over the field after the first round of stroke play.
The golf career of David Hicks moves to a new level, starting Monday.
Xiong, 18, a sophomore at the University of Oregon who won the Phil Mickelson Award as the nation’s top freshman in 2017, fashioned a bogey-free round with six birdies, three on each nine, at The Riviera Country Club.
Wood, 21, a junior at Oklahoma State University and the son of Willie Wood, who plays on the Champions Tour, notched seven birdies against a bogey at Riviera.
Lawrence, 20, a junior at Virginia Tech who shared the team’s player of the year award, posted two eagles (on Holes 1 and 8), three birdies and a bogey at Bel-Air Country Club. Both courses are playing at par 70 for the championship.
The U.S. Amateur’s 312 qualifiers will have two days of stroke play and the top 64 at that point advance to the 1-against-1 match-play rounds.
Hicks, 20, will tee off for his second round at the No. 1 hole at Bel Air at 12:05 p.m. EDT.