Gavin Noble was named this year’s Catoosa County Boys’ Golfer of the Year. Noble won the area title for the Ringgold Tigers and tied for fourth place at the the Class 3A state tournament in Hartwell.

Recent Ringgold High School graduate Gavin Noble is in a group of six players tied for 18th place at the 98th Georgia Amateur Championship, which is taking place at the Ansley Golf Club-Settindown Creek in Roswell.

Noble started his tournament on the back nine Thursday afternoon and quickly went into red numbers with a birdie at No. 10. But a double bogey at No. 11 and back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 would drop him to 3-over par after his first nine holes.

However, Noble would get it going on the frontside with four birdies against just one bogey as he finished with an even-par 72. The six-player group at even-par also includes former Trion standout Dawson Day.

Noble’s playing partners on the day were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Ryan Demit of Milton carded an 82 and is serious danger of missing the cut, but Andy Mao of Johns Creek was able to navigate the course to tune of seven birdies and one bogey. The future Georgia Tech golfer finished with a 6-under 66 and has a one-shot lead over Spencer Ball (67) of Suwanee going into the second round.

The trio will tee off together again starting on the first hole at 7:30 a.m. on Friday.

Five players are tied for third at 4-under 68, including Ben Carr of Columbus, Hogan Ingram of Rome, Jonathan Keppler of Marietta, Will Chandler of Atlanta and Timothy Schaetzel of Atlanta. Schaetzel is the reigning club champion at Settindown Creek. A total of 17 players are in red numbers after the first 18 holes.

Brett Barron of Suwanee, winner of last year's Georgia Amateur Championship at Athens Country Club, posted a 2-over 74 on Thursday.

Entries were open to male amateur golfers who are members of the GSGA and residents of the state of Georgia. The field of 144 players will compete over 54 holes of stroke play and will be cut to low 70 and ties after 36 holes.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.