Zhang, Christovich share Azalea lead

Veteran mid-amateur Patrick Christovich was joined atop the Azalea Invitational amateur golf tournament leaderboard by 18-year-old Andy Zhang at 8-under-par 134 after a windy Friday afternoon at the Country Club of Charleston.

Christovich shot 3-under 68 while Zhang recorded his second straight 67. The pair lead Kyle Nathan of Glenview, Ill., and Ryan Celano of Naples, Fla., by one shot heading to the final two rounds of the tournament. Nathan took advantage of a morning start and fired the day’s best round by one shot, an 8-under-par 63. Jack Hall of Savannah also enjoyed a morning start and shot a second-round 64.

Defending champion Todd White is tied for 16th at 140.

“The wind really started for us on No. 4. On No. 6 my ball started rolling because of the wind. By 16 it started slowing down, but it was whipping out there,” said Christovich, a 37-year-old real estate salesman from New Orleans who is considered Louisiana’s top mid-amateur golfer. Christovich had a 12:50 p.m. starting time.

Christovich didn’t make any bogeys, notching birdies on the fifth, 10th and 13th holes.

Zhang, a native of Bejing who has lived in Florida the last eight years, started at 12:20 p.m. and notched five birdies and one bogey. He said he successfully guarded against mistakes.

“There wasn’t that much wind this morning. The first nine was pretty quiet but the second nine it was picking up,” said Zhang, who has signed to play golf for the University of Florida.

Zhang had two-putt birdies on the par-5 fifth and 15th holes and also birdied 1, 4 and 18. His lone bogey came on the par-3 17th where he hit his tee shot long into the back bunker and was unable to get up and down to save par

Nathan’s 63 was bogey-free. He birdied 3, 4 and 8 for a front-nine 33 and added birdies at 10, 11, 12, 14 and 17 for a back-nine 30.

Saturday’s tee times are scheduled to begin at 7:50 a.m. with the leaders starting at 1:50 p.m. The field will be cut to the low 60 scores and ties for Sunday’s final round.

Caleb Proveaux of Lexington was the golfer who made a hole-in-one on No. 11 during Thursday’s opening round of the Azalea. Proveaux, who has signed to play for South Carolina, said it was his second career ace. He used a 7-iron on the hole that was playing 161 yards.

Scores

Andy Zhang, Bejing 67-67—134

Patrick Christovich, New Orleans 66-68—134

Kyle Nathan, Glenview, Ill. 72-63—135

Ryan Celano, Naples, Fla. 68-67—135

Jeronimo Esteve, Windermere, Fla. 68-68—136

Jose Narro, Tampico, Mexico 69-68—137

Jake Kevorkian, St. Petersburg, Fla. 67-70—137

Trent Phillips, Inman 67-70—137

Christopher Hickman, Md. 71-66—137

Logan Harrell, Huntersville, N.C. 71-66—137

Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh 71-66—137

Andrew Orischak, Hilton Head 72-66—138

William Buhl, Fairhope, Ala. 66-72—138

Jack Hall, Savannah 75-64—139

Joseph Deraney, Lexington, Ky. 71-68—139

Christian Sease, Mount Pleasant 73-67—140

Brett Rinker, Bowling Green, Ohio 73-67—140

Jarryd Dillas, Hamilton, Bermuda 72-68—140

Will Strauss, La Jolla, Calif. 70-70—140

Cole Hammer, Houston 73-67—140

Todd White, Spartanburg 71-69—140

James Yoon, Asuncion, Paraguay 71-70—141

John Wright, Aurora, Ill. 72-69—141

Alastair Tidcombe, Wolfville, Canada 73-68—141

David Geis, Charlotte 71-70—141

Andrew McCain, Brisbane, Australia 70-71—141

William Miles, Hilton Head 73-68—141

Jamie Wilson, Mount Pleasant 72-70—142

Conner Tendall, N. Potomac, Md. 72-70—142

Clancy Waugh, N. Palm Beach, Fla. 70-72—142

Tyson Reeder, Edmond, Okla. 73-69—142

Garland Ferrell, Greenville 74-68—142

Kaito Onishi, Tokyo 76-66—142

Brady Exber, Las Vegas 71-71—142

Eric Banks, Gainesville, Fla. 71-71—142

Koichiro Ishika, Kalagawa, Japan 74-69—143

Lee Palms, Greenville 73-70—143

Henry Shimp, Charlotte 73-70—143

Mark Cusic, California, Md. 75-69—144

Spencer Ralston, Gainesville, Ga. 69-75—144

Kris Mikkelsen, Atlanta 73-71—144

Cody Proveaux, Lexington 72-72—144

S.M. Lee, Buford, Ga. 74-70—144

Joseph Cansler, Clemmons, N.C. 71-73—144

Wil Sheppard, Mount Pleasant 71-73—144

Chris Minton, Houston 69-75—144

Pablo Heriada Iglesias, Seville, Spain 72-72—144

Danny Nelson, Savannah 74-71—145

Jonathan Rector, Clemson 71-74—145

Richard Berkmeyer, St. Louis 74-71—145

Dan Falls, Gaithersburg, Md. 72-73—145

Will Chandler, Atlanta 73-72—145

John Augenstein, Owensboro, Ky. 68-77—145

Steven Liebler, Irmo 76-69—145

Daniel Brennan, Shannon, Ireland 75-70—145

Blake Kennedy, Campobello 76-70—146

Doc Redman, Raleigh 74-72—146

Brian Westveer, Charlotte 71-75—146

Kevin Van Rossum, Hartland, Wis. 73-73—146

Aman Gupta, Conway 73-73—146

Ryan Abbate, Weston, Fla. 77-69—146

Blake Banks, Mount Pleasant 76-71—147

Drayton Stewart, James Island 71-76—147

Caleb Proveaux, Lexington 71-76—147

Philip Barbaree, Shreveport, La. 75-72—147

Chris Cassetta, Roanoke, Va. 76-72—148

Marc Toma, San Diego 75-73—148

Steven Brame, Henderson, N.C. 76-72—148

Lawrence Largent, Kingsport, Tenn. 75-73—148

Christian Salzer, Sumter 77-71—148

Justin Boulware, Charleston 74-74—148

Will Thomson, Naples, Fla. 77-71—148

Jack Larkin Sr., Atlanta 74-74—148

Robert Bennett, Charleston 74-74—148

Russell Bowie, Mississauga, Canada 79-70—149

Walker Simas, Charlotte 72-77—149

Mark Reppe, Dallas 72-77—149

David Poteet, Suwanee, Ga. 79-71—150

Nick Biesecker, Charleston, W.Va. 81-69—150

James Mishoe, Cary, N.C. 75-75—150

Carlton Forrester, Atlanta 76-74—150

William Nottingham, Tenn. 74-76—150

Brad Wilder, Fort Wright, Ky. 79-72—151

Nick Cohen, Johnson City, Tenn. 78-73—151

Roy Hunter, Pawleys Island 75-76—151

Arthur Muller, Castres, France 75-76—151

John Greene, Dublin, Ireland 73-78—151

Gene Elliott, W. Des Moines, Iowa 77-74—151

Philip Reale, S. Charleston, W.Va. 77-75—152

Thomas Strandemo, Fargo, N.D. 73-79—152

John Finnin, Mokena, Ill. 80-73—153

Ramiro Romo, Burlington, Wis. 76-77—153

Daniel Belden, Massillon, Ohio 76-77—153

T.A. Fulmer, Goose Creek 76-77—153

Zachary Herold, Lexington 81-72—153

Bailey Patrick, Charlotte 77-76—153

Frank Ford III, Charleston 76-77—153

Alex Handy, Aiken 77-77—154

Michael Finnin, Union, Ky. 78-76—154

Jake Carter, Aiken 82-73—155

Thomas Lehman, Scottsdale, Az. 78-77—155

Fred Stone, Charleston 82-77—159

William Doctor, Houston 82-78—160

Richard Ross, Mount Pleasant 80-80—160

Clay Willis, Charleston 80-80—160

Tommy Ford, Wadmalaw 84-79—163

Zack Kelly, Mount Pleasant 85-79—164

Neil Fisher, Charleston 87-77—164