CINCINNATI (AP) — Much like he did against an elite field in U.S. Open qualifying, high school senior-to-be Will Grimmer is proving at the Ohio Amateur that he's skilled beyond his years.
Grimmer, a 17-year-old Mariemont High School student who played in the U.S. Open last month, shot a 5-under 66 in Wednesday's second round of the Ohio Amateur to take a one-stroke lead over two-time winner Robert Gerwin.
An Ohio State verbal commitment who missed the cut at Pinehurst as one of the youngest Open qualifiers ever, Grimmer birdied four of the last five holes on the front side and then played the back in 1-under to stand at 4-under 138 at the tournament's midpoint.
Fellow Cincinnati native Gerwin matched Grimmer's 66 — the best rounds of the day at Coldstream Country Club.
Grimmer had opened with a 72 that included a double-bogey at the par-4 sixth hole and three other bogeys. In the second round, he birdied the sixth and played those same four holes in 3 under — an improvement of eight strokes.
Grimmer shocked many when he put up rounds of 70 and 65 at Springfield Country Club on June 2 to earn one of just three qualifying spots in a field of 63.
He might not have conquered Pinehurst's famed No. 2 course, but he earlier had left his mark on the multi-course complex. In 2013, he shot a 59 at Pinehurst's No. 1 course during the North-South Junior Amateur.
Gerwin is one of the most decorated amateurs in the state. He won the Ohio Amateur in 1996 at Miami Valley and again in 2001 at The Heritage Club.