Clovis News: Sports

Former Clovis East golfer leads first round of qualifying

Despite waking up late and bogeying his first and last hole of the day, Derek Ernst (Clovis East) leads after the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

That's because in between the sour beginning and end to his day, he found nothing but goodness. He recorded nine birdies on the day, including six in an eight-hole span.

"A nice little Oreo cookie in there," Ernst said. "Sweet in the middle, not good on the outside."

Ernst, a junior at UNLV, shot a 6-under 65 on the 7,218 yard, par-71 Champions Course at Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center in Greensboro, N.C.

Ernst made a snaking 30-foot birdie putt with more than 6 feet of break on the par-3 12th hole and followed that with a birdie on the 233-yard, par-3 14th -- which played as the second-hardest hole in the first round -- by hitting a 3-iron to 2 inches.

Ernst, who reached the third round of match play at the U.S. Amateur in 2007 and the first round in 2009, holds a one-stroke lead going into today's second round of qualifying.