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Kerns still in contention

RINGGOLD, Ga. — A trip south may help Ironton’s Nathan Kerns when he heads back north.

Kerns is tied for the 33rd spot with three other golfers after the first round of the three-day Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic conducted by the American Junior Golf Association.

Kerns, the only Ohio golfer in the field, shot an even par 35 on the front nine and a 3-over 38 on the back nine for a 73 total on the 6,484-yard, Par 70 course.

He had a birdie and a bogey on the front nine, then a birdie, three bogeys and five pars on the back nine.

The leader among the field of 77 golfers is Collin Ho of Albany, Ga., at 65.

Kerns had to make the tournament in a qualifier this past weekend.

Besides the Ringgold tournament, Kerns will play in the AJGA Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior tournament to be held June 17-20 at the Bellefonte (Ky.) Country Club.

Kerns played in the Ohio Amateur qualifier on May 27 at Moundbuilder Country Club in Newark but just missed qualifying.

However, his father, Ironton golf coach Jeff Kerns, tied for eighth place with a 72 and is among the 38 golfers who earned a spot in the Ohio Amateur July 14-18 at the Findlay Country Club.

Also qualifying for the Ohio Amateur was former Ironton golfer and assistant coach Tony Brown and Proctorville’s Mark Brooks, each with a 76.

Nathan Kerns also shot a 76 but missed out on qualifying in a playoff that included 14 golfers.