Jones top local player at Amateur
Former Heritage standout finishes 11th in tourney

COVINGTON - Three local golfers were in contention in the 88th Georgia Amateur Championship held at Country Club of Columbus, at least for the first day in the 156-player field.

The tournament was held over the weekend with 156 participants before the final cut had the top 71 amateur golfers in the state playing for the championship.

Covington's Jeff Weir closed the opening round with an even-par 71, five shots behind leader Michael Green of Augusta, with Bill Jones (Covington) and Taylor Smith (Mansfield) finishing a stroke behind Weir.

Jones, who graduated from Heritage and played in the collegiate ranks at Mercer, continued to play steady the next two days shooting par each day.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Weir and Smith, a former Eastside standout, as they finished five and seven shots over par in the second round. The duo settled down the third day with rounds of 73 and 74.

By the end of the third day, Jones, while no longer in contention, was 1-over-par with a 214 followed by Weir who had a three day total of 220 (7-over-par) and Smith's 224 (11-over-par).

The last day of the tournament belonged to Smith who had one of the lowest rounds of the day shooting a 3-under-par 68, putting him in a five-way tie for 26 with an 8-over-par 292 for the tournament.

Starting the day 7-over-par, Weir's day went down quickly finishing the tournament tied for 51 with a 16-over par 300 ending the tournament with closing round of 9-over-par 80.

Jones had a 1-under-par final day to finish tied for 11th at even par 284 for the four-day tournament. Jones was one of 13 to finish the tournament even par or better.

Macon's Russell Henley won his second straight title with a 16-under-par 268.

His score set a new four-day record breaking the old record of 270 which he set at his home course of Idle Hour the previous year.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.