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Hatch has round to remember with 67 on opening day of 52nd Firecracker Open

A Friday afternoon golf outing with two old friends turned into a round to remember for Kyle Hatch.

The MacArthur High School graduate caught fire on the back nine at the Lawton Country Club and stepped into the first-round lead of the annual Firecracker Invitational with a four-under-par 67.

That gives Hatch a two-stroke lead over Cameron University grad Garrett Smith heading into today’s second round. Garrett Leek is another stroke back at 70 and will join Hatch and Smith in today’s final Championship Flight pairing at 2:35.

The final round will be played Sunday.

Hatch, paired with old friends Joby Dutcher and Scott Watson, put together a solid four-under-par 31 on the back nine, highlighted by birdies at 10 and 11 and a chip-in eagle at 13. He had two birds and two bogeys on front.

“I had a good group of guys to play with,” Hatch said.” Scott and Joby and I have played since back in high school days.”

Fairways and greens were the name of his game.

“I never really got into lots of trouble today,” Hatch said.

Hatch, a captain in the Field Artillery, is home on leave. He is stationed at Camp Shelby, located south of Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Mac and Southeastern State graduate has served 10 years in the Army.

Watson, a former champion, and Dutcher stayed in contention with 73s.

Smith, a member of the 2012 Cameron University graduating class, did most of his damage with birds at 10, 11 and 13. He also saved a shot at the 6th but lost strokes at 5 and 12.

The Lawton Constitution

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