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Sunday August 30th, 2015 7:55AM

Brown burns up Achasta to take NGA Tour Classic lead

By staff
DAHLONEGA -- While only half the field completed the first round of the NGA Tour Classic at Achasta presented by Ace Wiring, it's safe to say that Brandon Brown's 61 may be good enough to keep the six-time NGA winner atop the leaderboard going into the second round.

The Shelbyville, Ky., native carded nine birdies, one eagle and one bogey at Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega on Thursday en route to a 10-under round.

"It was just a day that everything went right," said Brown, the current NGA TOUR money leader. "I got here, the course looked good and my confidence is high right now."

After severe weather pushed the start of the first round back five hours, Brown, an Eastern Kentucky alumnus, wasted little time getting into red numbers with birdies on Nos. 2 and 3. Brown dropped a shot at No. 4, but he played the final 13 holes 9-under par and retreated to the clubhouse with a four-shot lead.

"I told my caddie that we needed to get it started on Thursday this week," said Brown, who earned the NGA TOUR's event exemption into the PGA TOUR's Reno-Tahoe Open for being the money leader at the season's midpoint. "It's a good score, but we've still got a lot of golf left to play."

Former Web.com Tour member Scott Weatherly of Fort Payne, Ala., and Adam Hogue of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., finished the first round with 6-under 65s and tied for second. Weatherly went bogey-free around the par-71, 6,967-yard course, while Hogue had nine birdies, one bogey and one double bogey in the first round.

Jesse Hutchins (Kirkersville, Ohio), David Johnson (Palm Bay, Fla.), Justin Ahasic (Aurora, Ill.) and Argentine Manuel Relancio finished the first round with 5-under 66s and tied for fourth place.

Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.), Chris Naegel (Chesterfield, Mo.), Kent Bulle (Glasgow, Ky.), Major Manning (Daytona, Fla.), Doug Ferris (Hernando Beach, Fla.), Connor Arendell (Fort Meyers, Fla.) and Daniel Barbetti (Chaco, Argentina) carded 4-under 67s on Thursday and finished the day tied for eighth.

The first round of the NGA TOUR Classic at Achasta will resume at 8 a.m. on Friday. As always, admission is free to the public.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Web.com Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf and is the "Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open."
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