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Friday February 12th, 2016 7:35PM

Dalton's Hughes takes lead at Georgia Open

By staff
BRASELTON -- Mini-tour professional Matt Hughes of Dalton, fired a steady round of four-under par 68 to pace the field in the opening round of the 60th annual Tilted Kilt Georgia Open, which is being conducted at The Legends at Chateau Elan in Braselton.

Hughes, who played his collegiate golf at the University of Alabama, played the back nine first and went out in two-under par 34, and finished off his bogey free round with another two-under par 34 on his final nine to capture the lead after the first round.

Defending champion Jonathan Fricke of Covington is alone in second after a bogey free round of three-under par 69. There is a four way tie for third place at two-under par round of 70 which includes: PGA apprentice Chris Nicol of Marietta, amateur Tyler Mitchell of Chatsworth, and mini-tour professionals Chris Wolfe of Warner Robins, and Eddie Lee of Duluth.

Former Atlanta Braves pitching great, John Smoltz of Atlanta fired a round of six-over par 78 and is in a tie for 89th place. Smoltz is looking to make the cut in the Georgia Open for the third time in the last four years.

The Legends at Chateau Elan is a private golf club that gracefully winds through the heart of Chateau Elan. Unique by design, The Legends at Chateau Elan is crafted from the worldly experience of three great champions: Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, and Kathy Whitworth. Each was asked to select six of their all-time favorite holes, and the result is a classic 18, bearing certain design elements from the legends' selections. Certainly noticeable at The Legends at Chateau Elan is the tribute to traditional golf course architecture of the early 1900's. For the week the course is set up as a par 72 and plays a total length of 7,003 yards.

An online leader board, featuring all competitors' complete scorecards, will be available during the tournament at www.georgiapga.com. During the first and second rounds, scores will be updated after nine holes and as each golfer finishes his round. The final two rounds will feature live, hole-by-hole scoring for several of the leading groups as well as nine-hole updates for all the other groups.

The Georgia PGA is one of the 41 Sections of the PGA of America. Its membership includes over 830 PGA professionals working at over 260 golf courses, clubs, and ranges throughout the state. Additionally, more than 20 Georgia PGA members compete on one of the PGA Tours. In keeping with the fundamental objectives laid down by its founders, one of the Georgia PGA's primary goals is promoting the game of golf through clinics, junior and minority golf programs, consumer programs, and print, radio, and television media.
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