The slogan for the 10th annual City of Aiken Amateur Championship is "Celebrate the Am", and through 18 holes at The Aiken Golf Club there's no clear indicator of who will be celebrating a title following Sunday's final round.
That's how tight the competition is this year following Saturday's opening round, which has been the norm for a decade at the city's amateur championship.
Tom Kennaday shot an opening-round 68 to lead the Regular division by a shot over Charles Masters. Masters leads a group of eight players, including five-time City Am champion Patrick Cunning and 2012 champ Brian Quackenbush, within five shots of the lead.
Kennaday, Masters and Cunning will play in the final threesome, but the winner could come from anywhere in the four groups making up the championship flight.
Masters, playing in his first tournament in years and coming off a leg injury, shot a back-nine 31 to post 69. Perennial contenders like Todd Fields (71), Quackenbush (71), Bo McCullough (73) and Dan Skiff (73) are all in the hunt, and defending champion Stephen Anaclerio (75) is within shouting distance.
Brooke Hutto leads the Ladies division following a round of 69. Hutto, a recent USC Upstate graduate who was a member of the Spartans' golf team, is 10 strokes ahead of multi-time winner Kadi Meldrum. Hutto won last year's title by 19 shots with a two-day total of 153.
Glen Hurt posted an early 71 to lead the Senior division by four strokes over Jay McDermott and Daran Womack. Bobby Hill and defending champion Jim Boughner are another two shots back following rounds of 77.
Another defending champ who is looking to repeat is Bill Beck in the Super Senior division, and he's out front after shooting 72. He leads Jared Long by a shot. James Morrow (76) is four back, followed by Nick Walker and Mike Jackson Sr. (77).
Sunday's tee times begin with the Ladies division in the 8 a.m. group, followed by the Super Seniors (8:10-9 a.m.), Seniors (9:10-10 a.m.), and finally the Regular division (10:20 a.m.-12:10 p.m.).