Branton tied for 10th after opening round at USGA Mid-Am in Colorado

Local golfer Chad Branton of Cartersville shot a 2-under-par 68 Saturday in the opening round at the United States Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship being conducted at the Colorado Golf Club and CommonGround Golf Course in neighboring Parker and Aurora, Colorado.

Branton played the par-70, 7,470-yard CommonGround Golf Course Saturday. He will play the par-72, 7,561-yard Colorado Golf Club Sunday seeking to earn a spot in the tournament’s match play rounds that begin Monday. All match play rounds will be held at Colorado Golf Club. Saturday’s first round began with 264 competitors who qualified in August at 65 different sites around the country. 4,751 players entered August qualifying. The U.S. Mid-Am is open to any amateur golfer who has reached their 25th birthday as of Sept. 14 and whose Handicap Index does not exceed 3.4.

The Cartersville native earned his spot in the championship in Colorado through qualifying at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw where he finished fifth with a 2-under-par 70. The field of 134 players at Pinetree were competing for six spots in Colorado.

Branton’s 2-under-par total Saturday has him in a four-way tie for tenth place.

Robbie Ziegler and Marc Engellenner are tied for the lead at 5-under-par. Ziegler played the Colorado Golf Club while Engellenner played his Saturday round at CommonGround.

Hole No. 2 at Colorado Golf Club

Branton started on No. 10 Saturday at CommonGround and made the turn after making a pair of birdies and two bogies. On his final nine, he made one bogie and three birdies.

Sunday, Branton will tee off at 8:17 a.m. MDT and will begin on Hole No. 1 at Colorado Golf Club. Following Sunday’s round, the field will be narrowed to the top 64 players. The remaining field of 64 will be paired for match play starting Monday. On Tuesday, the second and third rounds (Round of 32 and Round of 16) will be played. Wednesday is scheduled for the quarterfinals and semifinals with the 36-hole championship match set for Thursday.

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Cartersville, Georgia