Jackson Wedgeworth leads the field lifted No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast to a first-round lead in the MACJC Championship, being played at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club in Philadelphia.
"You're not going to have a big lead on Meridian," Gulf Coast coach Tommy Snell said. "They're just too good. To be up on them by two shots, I'm pleased."
Gulf Coast shot a 3-under 285 to lead Meridian heading into the final day of the 36-hole event. The Bulldogs are looking for their eighth MACJC golf championship since 2008.
The leaders tee off at 7:30 Friday.
Wedgeworth (So., West Jones/Soso) fired a 5-under 67 to lead by a shot after 18 holes. Brice Wilkinson (Fr. Madison Central/Madison) is two shots back tied for third. Only five players got into red numbers.
"Jackson played very well, and Brice got on a little run at the end to shoot 3-under," Snell said. "Carter really came through and shot 1-over. That really helped. Overall, I'm pleased."
Jackson had eight birdies, but his best work might have been late in the round.
"He just played like Jackson can play. He's fearless," Snell said. "The only bad shots I saw him hit were on 16 and 17. He drove it in the woods on 16 and made a good recovery for par. Then on 17, he made a great bogey with a long putt."
Wilkinson made birdies on three straight holes starting at No. 15 to surge into third.
"We've got a two-shot lead," Snell said, "so we've got to hold on."
Five teams from the MACJC Championship advance to the NJCAA District D Championship in two weeks at Lion Hills Country Club in Columbus. East Mississippi, that tournament's host, gets an automatic berth in the field.
|1. Gulf Coast||285 (-3)|
|2. Meridian||287 (-1)|
|T3. East Central||312 (+24)|
|T3. Copiah-Lincoln||312 (+24)|
|5. Itawamba||317 (+29)|
|6. Hinds||324 (+36)|
|7. East Mississippi||340 (+52)|
|1. Jackson Wedgeworth||67 (-5)|
|T3. Brice Wilkinson||69 (-3)|
|T6. Carter Nicholson||73 (+1)|
|T10. Colby Entriken||76 (+4)|
|T16. Colby Blake||79 (+7)|
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