BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Walker Cup player Todd White and Kevin Marsh shot 4-under 66 on Saturday to share first-round lead in stroke-play qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
The 45-year-old White, from Spartanburg, S.C., and 40-year-old Marsh, from Henderson, Nev., played on the Country Club of Birmingham's East Course. The top 64 after the second round Sunday will advance to match play on the West Course.
Jim Chang of San Marino, Calif., and Matthew Mattare of Jersey City, N.J., were a stroke back. They also opened on the East Course.
White, a high school history teacher, birdied his final three holes.
''I managed my way around the golf course very well today,'' White said. ''I have always looked at this (stroke and match play) as two individual tournaments. I didn't come here with the idea of just trying to make one of the top 64. I came here with the idea of winning stroke play.''
Marsh, the 2005 Mid-Amateur champion, eagled the par-5 sixth hole. He made a 30-foot putt for par on No. 14, bogeyed the next hole, then hit his tee shot just over the green on the par-4 16th and pitched to 6 feet for birdie.
''A lot of guys think you have to play perfect golf,'' Marsh said. ''You don't have to play great; you just can't play bad. It's really nice to play a good first round. You can play more conservative tomorrow.''
The event is limited to players 25 and older.