Fernandez grabs early lead at Yahama Coast Open

Casey Fernandez
Casey Fernandez Tommy Snell/Special to the Sun Herald

Former Southern Miss golf standout Casey Fernandez made six birdies en-route to a 3-under-par 69 after round one of the Yamaha Coast Open on Friday at the Grand Bear.

Fernandez leads Windance professional Kyle Ramey and University of North Alabama golfer Austin Sparks by one shot.

“I got off to a good start,” said Fernandez. “I hit it to six feet on No 10 my first hole, and then I two-putted 11 for another birdie.” “I’ve been playing on the Latin America PGA Tour and have been playing well.”

Jamie Marshall is two strokes back after a 1-under 71. Marshall played on the 2011 Arkansas Razorback team that runner-up to eventual champion Texas A&M in the NCAA National Championship.

Stewart Horsely fired a sizzling 4-under-68 to lead the Senior Division by six shots over three-time champion Robert David Smith at 74. Five other golfers, including first time senior competitor Tracy McGuire, are sat 78.

“I could not make a putt,” said McGuire. “Our whole group struggled on the greens, but they were perfect. My speed was off.”

Dave Czaplicki and Howard Waugh lead the 60-and-over Super-Senior Division after shooting 3-over 75’s. Tupelo’s Mike Thompson is another stroke back at 76.

“Not too good today on the greens, but I hope to make a few tomorrow,” Waugh said.

The tournament committee will flight the Open Division after Saturday’s second round.