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Gainesville grad Brown tied for 1st at Southern Junior Championship
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Pep Brown is finding that a confident approach to an unfamiliar course is paying off well at the Southern Junior Championship.

Brown, a recent Gainesville High graduate, opened with a 34 on both sides for a 68 and tied for the first round lead with Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tenn. on Wednesday on the Tuckahoe Course at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.

“It’s a tough course, but exciting to play here,” said Brown, who is signed to play in the fall at Wofford College. “I just have to concentrate on playing my game and let the course do what it does.”

Brown, who carries an even par handicap, is one of 164 in the field for the three-day event. The top half of the field after Thursday will make the cut for the final round on Friday.

The two-time state champion from Gainesville made two shots that headlined his first-round surge to the top of the leaderboard. On No. 9, he drained a 40-foot, downhill-putt across the green for birdie. Two holes later, after a tee shot into the rough, his second shot with a seven iron landed just six inches from the cup for a tap-in for birdie.

Brown finished the first round with five birdies and one bogey. He played a practice round Tuesday to familiarize himself with the course.

“I feel like everything went according to plan today,” Brown said.

Rising Red Elephants junior Nathan Williams shot a 79 in the opening round of the Southern Junior Championship.

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