Beaufort News

Davidson takes early lead in eGolf event at Palmetto Hall

After an offseason that included a month off to get married and take a honeymoon trip, Matt Davidson wasn't sure what to expect when his tournament schedule rolled around.

He had no reason to worry, as it turns out.

The 29-year-old from Chapel Hill, N.C., carded a bogey-free round of 7-under-par 65 on the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Hall Golf Club on Wednesday, putting him atop the leaderboard when play was suspended because of darkness with four players left on the course during the first round of the eGolf Professional Tour's Swiftwick Shootout.

"There was a little bit of rust coming into today," Davidson said in a release from the tour. "You never really know how it will go when you start keeping score."

The answer for Davidson was exceptionally well.

No stranger to success on the eGolf Tour -- he won the eGolf Tour Championship in 2008 and 2009 before graduating to the Nationwide Tour last year -- Davidson displayed the game that helped him find his way into 20 PGA Tour events over the years and finish 66th on the Nationwide Tour money list with $99,844 last season.

The former Furman star made seven birdies Wednesday to take a one-shot lead over Corey Nagy of Charlotte and Brian Anderson of Jupiter, Fla. Nagy and Anderson played the Robert Cupp Course in the first round.

The first two rounds are being played on the Cupp and Hills courses. The field will be cut to the low 62 players and ties after today's round, and play will shift solely to the Cupp Course for the final 36 holes.

Hilton Head Island's Adam Lescalleet led the local contingent with a 3-under-par 69 and is tied for 10th. Bluffton's Nathan Stamey is tied for 20th at 2-under.

Other local players in the field are: Chris Epperson, Mark Anderson, Kenny Coakley and Joel Hendry at even par; Brian Langley and Michael Balzer at 3 over; Roger Brooks at 4 over; and Colin Hawkins at 14 over.

Play will resume with the completion of the first round and the start of the second round at 8 a.m. today.

Spectators are welcome free of charge.