Love, a rising senior at Alabama-Birmingham, matched the low round of the tournament with 5-under-par 65 on Thursday. The Trussville, Ala., resident is at 5-under 135 for two trips over Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken.
Love, 21, was just 1-under for his round Thursday through 12 holes. He then struck for birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 15. He capped off the round with a birdie on No. 18.
Former University of Alabama golfer Scott Strohmeyer, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Monday qualifier Carson Jacobs are tied for second one stroke back.
Strohmeyer, a senior whose victory gave Alabama the clinching point in last week’s NCAA Championship match against Illinois, shot 67. Jacobs, a Vanderbilt golfer from Hendersonville, Tenn., had 70.
Georgia golfer Nicholas Reach had 66 and is tied for fourth place, two shots off the lead. Reach was the winner of the inaugural Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.
First-round leader Davin White, a Georgia State golfer from Locust Grove, Ga., fell back with 74 after opening with 65. He’s tied for eighth place, four shots off the lead.
Greyson Sigg is the top local golfer. The Augustan, who is a Georgia signee, is in seventh place after consecutive 69s.
Also in the top 20 is Augusta’s Jeff Knox, who is tied for 12th place after rounds of 72-68–140.
The tournament got back on schedule on Thursday, with the 27 golfers who didn’t complete their first round on Wednesday doing so Thursday morning.
All 99 players then completed their second rounds later Friday.
Love, Strohmeyer and Jacobs will be teeing off the today’s final group, at 1:22 p.m., weather permitting. The final round is Saturday.