Canton’s Steve Kibare and Johns Creek’s Deven Patel shared the lead Friday after the first round of the 99th Georgia Amateur Championship.

Both players shot rounds of 3-under par 68 on the Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course. Kibare, a recent Cherokee High School graduate, had a clean scorecard with three birdies and no bogeys, while Patel, a rising senior at Johns Creek, made five birdies in his round, including three in a row to start his back nine.

Five players — Evans’ States Fort, Roswell’s Brent Landry, Atlanta’s Timothy Schaetzel and Alex Ross, and Sugar Hill’s Austin Mancilla — were one shot back.

Top local players in the field also included Kennesaw State’s Takafumi Shimoji, who made two birdies and two bogeys in an even-par 71, which had him in a tie for 12th place.

Former Harrison High School and Georgia Tech standout Luke Schniederjans was tied for 19th at 1-over par. He pulled within two shots of the lead after an eagle on the par-5 12th got him to 1-under, but he dropped two shots over the last six holes.

Former Mount Paran Christian standout and rising Georgia freshman Parker Rostowsky bogeyed his first two holes of the day and then carded 16 straight pars to finish the day at 2-over 73 and in a tie for 26th place.

Other local players in the field included a trio from Marietta — Matthew Hayes (78), Mel Mendenhall (79) and Chris Hall (80) — and Woodstock’s Jacob Barker (83). Former Pope standout Jack Haller and Marietta’s Jack Shade each shot 85.

This year’s tournament was reduced to 54 holes, and each player is required to walk the course. The field was limited to 120 players and it will be cut to the low 60 and ties following Saturday’s second round.

Other players of note in the field included 2018 Amateur champion Brett Barron, who birdied two of his last three holes to shoot 1-under 70. Rome High School junior Hogan Ingram was at even-par, while 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Bob Royak and 2004 Georgia Amateur champion David Denham each shot 76. Two-time champions Lee Knox (2010, ‘12) and David Noll (2003, ‘11) shot 77 and 78, respectively, as did 1999 winner Rick Cloninger.

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