Knox focused on signature event

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The delay at the scoring table Tuesday afternoon was intentional.

Lee Knox checked his scorecard. Then he re-checked it. Again. And again.

After signing for a higher score in Monday's first round of the Georgia Junior Championship, Knox checked all 18 holes six times. He made sure he turned in a correct 2-under-par 70 at Augusta Country Club.

"I made sure Will (Evans, Knox's playing partner) wrote big and clear," Knox said.

At 7-under-par 137, Knox leads by two strokes entering today's final round. He's being pursued by fellow Augustan Chase Parker and Albany's Collin Ho, who each shot 70 and are tied for second place.

Acworth's Cameron Simmons shot 70 and is three back. First-round leader Dykes Harbin of Augusta recorded 76 and is five shots behind in fifth place. Augusta's Clark Palmer (72) is in a three-way tie for sixth at 143.

The top 72 players at 154 or better survived the cut. Today's play begins at 8 a.m. with the final pairing (Knox, Parker and Ho) going off at 11:50 a.m.

Knox will keep a close eye on his scorecard after what happened in the first round. After play, he believed he opened with 66. But a playing partner marked him for double bogey instead of bogey at the par-3 14th and Knox failed to catch the mistake.

"That's something I will not forget," he said. "That's one of those things that happens one time and you don't let it happen again."

Playing in windy afternoon conditions in the second round, Knox bogeyed the first hole.

Later in his round, he then rolled in a 20-foot downhill birdie putt at No. 6 and chipped in from 30 yards out for birdie at the par-4 ninth to move to 1-under. Knox added another birdie at the par-5 15th.

"I feel like I'm playing consistent," he said. "I'm not making any dumb mistakes."

Jeff Knox, the current Georgia Mid-Amateur champion, withdrew Tuesday from the prestigious Palmetto Amateur, which begins today. His son gave him good reason.

"I want to watch him play," the elder Knox said. "He battled today. He didn't play his best. But his short game really saved him."

Parker saved his tournament hopes with a late rally. He closed with four consecutive birdies, including a 17-foot birdie putt at the last.

"I left a few shots out there today," Parker said. "But I'm proud of the finish."

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.


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