Grayson Baucom lives in Hickory, N.C., but he has ties to Dothan. His grandparents, Buddy and Janice Jones, live here.
Participating in his second Press Thornton Future Masters, Baucom put on a show Monday when he recorded a 2-under-par 33, good for a one-shot lead after nine holes in the 10-under age division.
He doesn’t have much breathing room. Another shot back at 1-under 34 are Maxwell Morgan of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and Cavin Hall of Moultrie Ga.
The 10-unders play the back nine Tuesday in the final round of the 18-hole event.
Baucom made birdie on holes 1, 3 and 6. His only bogey came on No. 2 and he made five pars. One of those pars was memorable.
“On No. 9 I hit a hybrid chip from off the green and it stopped that far short,” Baucom said, extending his thumb and forefinger about an inch apart. “Almost had another birdie.”
It would have been tough to top his birdie on the sixth hole.
“I hit a drive in the middle and had 160 in,” he said. “I hit a 4-hybrid to 25 feet and made it. Grant (playing partner Grant Sheffield) gave me the read.”
Baucom said he played here last year, when he tied for 12th.
“Last year on 14 I went into a fairway bunker and kept hitting the lip,” he said. “I’m smarter this year.”
His closest pursuers — Morgan and Hall — are both just a shot back at 1-under 34, but they did it with contrasting styles. Morgan made birdies on holes 1, 3 and 5. He had a double bogey on 7 and added five pars. Hall, on the other hand, made five birdies in his nine holes.
“On No. 5 I sunk a 30-footer for birdie from off the green,” Morgan said of moving to 3-under at one point. “The turtle saw it. The turtle was in the bunker.”
Morgan said he was here last year.
“It was horrible,” he said, adding, “I’ve been working on my wedge shots.”
Hall is already playing in his third Future Masters in the 10-under division. He enjoyed a round with only one par. He made five birdies, one double bogey and two bogeys.
“I was on a roll,” Hall said, listing birdies at Nos. 1 and 2, making a double bogey on No. 3 and making birdies at Nos. 4 and 5.
He had a bogey at No. 6, made his only par at 7 and then chipped in for birdie at No. 8. He gave that shot back with a day-ending bogey at No. 9.
Another two shots back is Cyrus Joseph of Melbourne, Fla., who said he was as surprised as anyone with his fine 1-over round of 36.
“I never shoot that, normally,” Joseph said. “I didn’t make a lot of mistakes, didn’t make any doubles. I got up and down from the bunker a lot, which I normally don’t do.
“The best thing I did was short putts. I was making them all.”
The 10-unders produce the best quotes, the best reactions of the week. Case in point: Will Perkins was in the first group of the day at 7:15 a.m. He shot a 4-over 39, a very solid round.
As it dawned on him his was the lowest score of his foursome, Perkins couldn’t contain the thrill.
“I’m in the lead!” he exclaimed.
Chase Bauer of Gotha, Fla., and Jude Desmond of Pompano Beach, Fla., turned in 37s in the very next group, making Will’s stay atop the leaderboard a short one.