High winds and high temperatures kept the scores high in the first round of the 102nd Kansas Amateur golf tournament, which opened Tuesday at Sand Creek Station.


High winds and high temperatures kept the scores high in the first round of the 102nd Kansas Amateur golf tournament, which opened Tuesday at Sand Creek Station.

Southern Methodist golfer Harry Higgs of Overland Park bucked the trend with a six-under par 66. Higgs holds a one-stroke lead over Ben Juffer of West Des Moines, Iowa. Myles Miller of Wellington is third at 70. Miller was the 2011 Kansas Golf Association Junior Player of the Year and was the 2011 Class 4A individual state runner-up.

Travis Mays of Overland Park, Ryan Haas of Lawrence and Charlie Ballard of Wichita tied for fourth at 71.

The six were the only ones to fire under-par rounds. Six players tied for seventh at even par.

“It really suits my eye,” Higgs said. “Today the wind was up but it was still pretty scoreable. The course was in great shape. It’s just kind of a tee-shot golf course. You have to keep it in front of you; keep it in play and then you can go ahead and score from there … today was a good putting day though. I made absolutely everything I looked at.”

Higgs is a member of the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park. He also plays at Royal Oaks in Dallas while at SMU. Higgs placed second at the Railer Stroke Play Championship last month at Sand Creek Station with a 69-73—142.

In Tuesday’s round, Higgs teed off on the back nine, shooting a 35. On the front nine, he was five under, hitting an eagle on the fourth hole and birdies on both front-nine par 3s.

“At no. 4, the tee shot was kind of left to right and down (wind),” Higgs said. “I hit a good tee ball. I had 250 (yards) or so. The flag was on the right. I landed a hybrid just a little short and it ran up to about 10 feet below the hole and I made the putt. It was kind of a nice way kick start to my (second) nine.”

Play continues at 7:30 a.m. today. After today’s play, the top 64 players advance to match play, which begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday. Any ties for 64th will be played off immediately after today’s round.