DAYTON - Since he's here, nearly 500 miles from home, it appears Las Vegas' Billy Harvey wants to make the most of his time at Dayton Valley Country Club.
After finishing with a 10-under 134 to win Monday's U.S. Amateur Qualifying event, Harvey shot a 5-under 67 in the first round of the 54-hole Nevada State Amateur Championship on Tuesday at Dayton Valley C.C.
As well played as Harvey's opening round was, it couldn't top Mark Gilmartin's, who holds the first round lead after a 7-under 65 put him two strokes ahead of Harvey, who won the event last year. Gilmartin's opening-round 65 fell one shot shy of the course record.
Monday's win qualified Harvey, along with Carson's Jeff Duncan, for the U.S. Amateur Golf Championships, which will be held Aug. 20-26 at Eastlake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Duncan, brother of University of Nevada, Reno golf coach Tom Duncan, shot a 5-under 139 on Monday to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship. And like Harvey, Duncan's good play has carried over to the Nevada State Amateur Championship.
Duncan is currently tied for fourth place with David Swanson after they both shot even-par 72s on Tuesday. Brady Exber, the 1991 champion and '92 runner-up, is in third place and six strokes back of Gilmartin at 1-under. Exber's 71 made him the only golfer under par following the first round.
Exber and Harvey are quite familiar with one another. The two Las Vegas area golfers were the top two players, respectively, last year in the Southern Nevada Golf Association final standings. Exber, who finished in first place, was voted the SNGA golfer of the year in '96 and 98, placing him in lofty company.
Current PGA Tour player Robert Gamez was a four-time SNGA golfer of the year from 1985-88.
58 golfers from the NNGA and the SNGA made up the projected 60-man field. Richard Hite was a no-show and KC Kracaw was disqualified following the first round.
Both the NNGA and SNGA were each given 30 qualifying positions for the Nevada State Amateur Championship and there were two ways to qualify. Either qualify by being one of a select number of top point-getters after a series of NNGA or SNGA tournaments or qualify through the two association's qualifying tournaments. The NNGA's qualifying tourney was held at Rosewood Lakes last month and the SNGA's at Paiute Resort on the Paiute Indian Reservation, 28 miles north of Las Vegas.
Galena High's Bryson Young, who finished sixth in the 2001 NNGA player of the year standings, is tied for 12th place along with five other golfers at 3-over par. Steve Sheehan, the 1997 champion and '98 runner up, is tied for 17th place at 4-over.
The second round continues today with final round being held on Thursday at Dayton Valley.