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Gainesville High grad Spencer Ralston in contention at The Players Amateur
Georgia's Spencer Ralston looks on during the third round of the SEC Championship on April 22 at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island.

After proving his worth in the Southeastern Conference during his freshman season at Georgia, Spencer Ralston is solidifying his place among the entire field of amateur golfers.

The Gainesville High graduate is tied for third place halfway through The Players Amateur, a major tournament for college competitors at Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton, South Carolina. He shot under par in each of the first two rounds for a 5-under, sitting two strokes behind overall leader Cooper Musselman.

Ralston will tee off the third round at 11:24 a.m. today alongside Jacob Solomon and William Rainey, two of the other six competitors with whom he is tied for third.

The Gainesville native got off to a hot start Thursday with three birdies through the first seven holes to finish the front nine at 3-under. Ralston sandwiched two more birdies around a bogey on No. 14 before a double bogey on the second-to-last hole left him at 2-under for the day.

Whatever plagued him on No. 17 was gone Friday — Ralston birdied that hole along with three others en route to a second-round 3-under. Ralston made par at every other stop aside from a bogey on No. 4.

With two rounds to go, he’s holding his own with some of the best college golfers just a little more than a year after graduating from Gainesville High.

That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise after Ralston earned All-SEC Freshman Team recognition last season. He notched the second-best scoring average for the Bulldogs, just one stroke behind senior captain and first team All-SEC honoree Greyson Sigg.

If the three-time Hall County champion can close strongly over the final two rounds, he’ll have a shot at winning his most notable accolade to date.

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