(Story by John Boyette)

Red numbers were the order of the day Wednesday as 19 players broke par in the opening round of the 44th Palmetto Amateur at Palmetto Golf Club.
Leading the way at 5-under-par 66 was Christian Salzer of Sumter, S.C. He recorded five birdies against no bogeys to lead the 80-player field.
Salzer, 20, plays at N.C. State.

A large group of golfers trails Salzer at 4-under 67. The group includes Christopher Zhang of Blacksburg, Va., Greyson Porter of Clearwater, Fla., Ben Carr of Columbus, Ga., Ryan Marter of Columbia, S.C., Kyle Cox of Carrollton, Texas, and Jamie Wilson of Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Three players – Morgan Deneen of Conway, S.C., Ryan Hall of Knoxville, Tenn., and Caleb Proveaux of Lexington, S.C. – are two shots back at 3-under 68. Four more are at 2-under 69, including Aiken’s Jake Carter and Trevor Phillips of Inman, S.C. Carter, now at Florida State, won the Southern Cross Junior Invitational twice at Palmetto. 

Five players shot 1-under 70s, and another eight players matched Palmetto’s par of 71.

The 72-hole tournament continues through Saturday. The low 40 players and ties will make the 54-hole cut. Admission to the tournament is free.

First round leaderboard