ELIZABETHTON -- Bryan Sangid just wanted to get into the mix on the first day of the Carter County Bank East Tennessee Amateur golf tournament.
After posting the lowest first-round score in the 19-year history of the tournament, it was mission accomplished for the Johnson City resident.
Making five birdies in a row at one point, Sangid shot an eight-under-par 64 Friday at Elizabethton Golf Course to grab a three-shot lead over Carlson Cox.
“I’m real happy about that,” said Sangid, who won this tournament in 2004. “I think I exceeded my goal. I just wanted to make sure I was part of the mix the first day. I think I succeeded in that.”
Sangid and Cox were two of nine players to break par on the first day on the 6,407-yard course. Lucas Armstrong opened with a 68, while Craig Reasor and Brandon Worley both shot 69 and Chris Guy had a 70.
Dwight Scott used six birdies to shoot 67 and grab the overall senior lead, two strokes better than Mike Poe. Jeff Andrews was in third with a 70, followed by Tim Dinwiddie at 71.
Sangid made his only bogey of the day on the par-three 10th hole after hitting an 8-iron 15 feet past the cup and three-putting. That left him at two under par.
“That was my best shot of the day and I bogeyed it,” said Sangid, who is coming off a victory in the Crossings Invitational two weeks ago.
Sangid then walked off the green at the par-five 11th with a disappointing par, remaining at two under, not knowing lightning was about to strike in his game.?“I’ve played here for many years, and I know if you stay patient, good things will start happening if you hit some good shots,” he said.
The good shots began at the short par-four 12th, where Sangid did something uncharacteristic for him. He pulled out a driver and drove the green.
“I’m not a very long hitter,” he said. “But I was hitting the ball good today. I was hitting it solid and I knew my swing wasn’t going to let it go left, and that’s the only trouble on that hole. The way I was swinging, that’s a go.”
The two-putt birdie began his string of five in a row. He made a 25-foot downhill birdie putt at the 13th before making birdies at the 14th, 15th and 16th holes as well.
After getting up and down for par on the 17th, Sangid capped his round with a 10-footer for birdie at No. 18.
The 64 equaled Sangid’s lowest score ever at Elizabethton and tied for the second-lowest round in the East Tennessee Amateur. Nick York holds the record with a 62 shot in 2010. Sangid’s gem was the tournament’s fourth 64, the third in the last three years.
Cox, the 2011 ET Amateur champion, wasn’t thrilled that he bogeyed the ninth hole from 60 yards out and missed a four-foot birdie putt on No. 11.
“I left a few out there,” said Cox, who had six birdies and a bogey. “I’ll take it though. Two more days to go. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Also breaking par with 71s were defending champion Ben Treadway, Taylor Gouge and Nick Cohen. The top 30 scores and ties will make the cut and advance to Sunday’s final round.
“You can birdie every hole out here,” Cox said. “This golf course isn’t ‘I got the birdie holes out of the way.’ You can birdie any hole out here so it should be a good weekend. We have 36 holes to go.”
The tournament is part of the Tri-Cities Amateur Tour.