Hendrix up one halfway through eGolf Tour's opener at Palmetto Hall

Hilton Head Island's Epperson in second after two rounds

sports@islandpacket.comFebruary 16, 2013 

Matt Hendrix appears to be in midseason form, as the former Clemson star has posted rounds of 68 and 67 to reach 9-under-par 135, one shot ahead of Hilton Head Island's Chris Epperson through 36 holes of the eGolf Tour's season-opening Palmetto Hall Championship presented by Westin Hilton Head Island.

The Palmetto Hall Championship is the first of 24 scheduled events on the 2013 eGolf Tour schedule, and is being contested this week on both the Robert Cupp and Arthur Hills courses at Palmetto Hall Plantation.

On Thursday, Hendrix -- who has conditional status on the Tour -- put himself in good position through 18 holes, posting a first-round 68 to sit tied for fourth.

Playing on the arduous Cupp Course during Friday's second round, Hendrix came alive, notching six birdies against a lone bogey at the par-4 third for a 5-under 67 that vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard, one shot clear of the field.

"I didn't come down here with a lot of confidence, but rather used good strategy," Hendrix said. "I played to the wide part of a fairway or the fat side of the green, mainly just playing safe and trying not to make any mistakes."

Through 36 holes, Hendrix has just one bogey to his card, proving his conservative strategy to be a wise one as both the Cupp and Hills courses feature a multitude of daunting shots.

Alone in second place at 8-under 136 is Hilton Head's Chris Epperson, who followed up a 3-under 69 Thursday with a 5-under 67 Friday to move one shot back of Hendrix at the event's halfway point.

Epperson, who has a top-five and two top-10 finishes in three years at Palmetto Hall, began his second round on the back nine of the Cupp Course, notching three birdies and one bogey in his first six holes to reach 2 under on the day.

After turning at 2-under 34, the former Hilton Head Christian Academy standout birdied Nos. 1 and 2 (his 10th and 11th) to move to 4 under, then reached 5 under with a birdie at the par-5 sixth. The late birdie at the diabolical par-5 would be his last, and left the hometown favorite with a 67 on his round.

"I laid up on every par-5, and still birdied three of them, so that was a good result from my strategy," he said. "I've played pretty good so far."

Epperson is coming off a career year on the eGolf Tour, where he finished third on the money list with $74,577 in earnings -- thanks in part to a stunning 14 top-12 finishes in just 17 starts. All told, the former Armstrong Atlantic State golfer recorded five top-five finishes on the year, with 38 out of a possible 63 rounds falling in the 60s.

Jesse Smith of Dover, N.H., is in third-place after posting rounds of 70-67--137 to reach 7 under.

Seven players are tied for fourth at 6-under 138, including Fergal Raffert, Fielding Brewbaker, Matt Eschenburg, David Chung, Connor Arendell, Gregg LaVoie and Joey McLister.

The 36-hole cut fell at 2-over 146, with 77 players making it through to the final 36 holes of play.

eGolf Tour Palmetto Hall Championship

Friday, at Palmetto Hall Plantation Club, Hilton Head Island; Robert Cupp Course (RC) and Arthur Hills Course (AH); a-amateur

Second round

1. Matt Hendrix (RC) 68-67--135

2. Chris Epperson (RC) 69-67--136

3. Jesse Smith (AH) 70-67--137

T4. Fergal Rafferty (AH) 70-68--138

T4. Fielding Brewbaker (RC) 72-66--138

T4. Matt Eschenburg (AH) 70-68--138

T4. David Chung (RC) 70-68--138

T4. Connor Arendell (AH) 73-65--138

T4. Gregg LaVoie (AH) 70-68--138

T4. Joey McLister (RC) 69-69--138

T11. Bruce Woodall (AH) 72-67--139

T11. Wes Roach (RC) 66-73--139

T11. Brent Delahoussaye (AH) 73-66--139

T11. Nick Bova (AH) 71-68--139

T15. Drew Weaver (AH) 68-72--140

T15. Cam Burke (AH) 72-68--140

T15. Taylor Floyd (AH) 66-74--140

T15. Thomas Curtis (AH) 66-74--140

T15. Conrad Shindler (AH) 70-70--140

T15. T.J. Howe (RC) 70-70--140

T21. Daniel Woltman (RC) 70-71--141

T21. Jack Fields (RC) 71-70--141

T21. Garland Green (AH) 73-68--141

T21. Derek Rende (RC) 70-71--141

T21. Timothy Madigan (AH) 71-70--141

T21. Brad Benjamin (RC) 72-69--141

T21. Clark Klaasen (RC) 71-70--141

T21. Paul Brown (AH) 69-72--141

T21. Christian Brand (RC) 72-69--141

T21. Thomas Smith (AH) 73-68--141

T31. Chris Naegel (RC) 68-74--142

T31. David Robinson (AH) 71-71--142

T31. Matthew Ryan (AH) 73-69--142

T31. Chris Gallagher (RC) 71-71--142

T31. Kyle Bradley (RC) 71-71--142

T31. Frank Adams III (AH) 71-71--142

T31. Jon Kennedy (AH) 69-73--142

T31. Olafur Loftsson (RC) 69-73--142

T31. Paul Ferrier (RC) 70-72--142

T40. Joshua Brock (AH) 69-74--143

T40. Travis Ross (AH) 71-72--143

T40. Ben Lee (AH) 72-71--143

T40. Michael Carbone (RC) 76-67--143

T44. Adam Mitchell (RC) 75-69--144

T44. George Bryan IV (AH) 71-73--144

T44. Robbie Greenwell (RC) 69-75--144

T44. Brad Arrington (RC) 74-70--144

T44. a-Andrew Jacobson (RC) 69-75--144

T44. Matt Hill (AH) 74-70--144

T44. Will Collins (AH) 72-72--144

T44. Ryan Gildersleeve (AH 71-73--144

T44. James White (RC) 72-72--144

T44. Paul Woodbury (AH) 73-71--144

T54. Shawn Jasper (RC) 74-71--145

T54. Jake Scott (RC) 68-77--145

T54. Tanner Ervin (AH) 73-72--145

T54. Jeff Sorenson (AH) 72-73--145

T54. Seamus Power (RC) 73-72--145

T54. Eric Shriver (RC) 76-69--145

T54. Jonathan Fricke (RC 72-73--145

T54. Chris Baker (AH) 71-74--145

T54. Lanto Griffin (AH) 73-72--145

T54. Rafael Campos (RC) 72-73--145

T54. Birgir Hafthorsson (RC) 72-73--145

T65. Jake Amos (RC) 71-75--146

T65. Martin Jeppesen (AH) 72-74--146

T65. Henry Zaytoun (AH) 78-68--146

T65. Nathan Sutherland (RC) 72-74--146

T65. Luke Hart (RC) 71-75--146

T65. Preston Dembowiak (RC) 74-72--146

T65. Adam Stephenson (AH) 74-72--146

T65. Mike Furci (RC) 77-69--146

T65. Chris McCartin (AH) 74-72--146

T65. Will Golden (RC) 72-74--146

T65. Greg Doherty (RC) 73-73--146

T65. Barrett Kelpin (AH) 75-71--146

T65. Raphael Marguery (RC) 75-71--146


Saturday, at Palmetto Hall Plantation Club, Robert Cupp Course

No. 1

8 a.m.: Jon Kennedy, Olafur Loftsson

8:10 a.m.: Chris Gallagher, Kyle Bradley, Frank Adams III

8:20 a.m.: Chris Naegel, David Robinson, Matthew Ryan

8:30 a.m.: Paul Brown, Christian Brand, Thomas Smith

8:40 a.m.: Timothy Madigan, Brad Benjamin, Clark Klaasen

8:50 a.m.: Jack Fields, Garland Green, Derek Rende

9 a.m.: Conrad Shindler, T.J. Howe, Daniel Woltman

9:10 a.m.: Cam Burke, Taylor Floyd, Thomas Curtis

9:20 a.m.: Brent Delahoussaye, Nick Bova, Drew Weaver

9:30 a.m.: Joey McLister, Bruce Woodall, Wes Roach

9:40 a.m.: David Chung, Connor Arendell, Gregg LaVoie

9:50 a.m.: Fergal Rafferty, Fielding Brewbaker, Matt Eschenburg

10 a.m.: Matt Hendrix, Chris Epperson, Jesse Smith

No. 10

8 a.m.: Paul Ferrier, Joshua Brock, Travis Ross

8:10 a.m.: Ben Lee, Michael Carbone, Adam Mitchell

8:20 a.m.: George Bryan IV, Robbie Greenwell, Brad Arrington

8:30 a.m.: a-Andrew Jacobson, Matt Hill, Will Collins

8:40 a.m.: Ryan Gildersleeve, James White, Paul Woodbury

8:50 a.m.: Shawn Jasper, Jake Scott, Tanner Ervin

9 a.m.: Jeff Sorenson, Seamus Power, Eric Shriver

9:10 a.m.: Jonathan Fricke, Chris Baker, Lanto Griffin

9:20 a.m.: Rafael Campos, Birgir Hafthorsson, Jake Amos

9:30 a.m.: Martin Jeppesen, Henry Zaytoun, Nathan Sutherland

9:40 a.m.: Luke Hart, Preston Dembowiak, Adam Stephenson

9:50 a.m.: Mike Furci, Chris McCartin, Will Golden

10 a.m.: Greg Doherty, Barrett Kelpin, Raphael Marguery

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