However, looks can be deceiving.
Albertson, the former Etowah High School star and current Georgia Tech golfer, saw his chances slip away on the back nine where three bogeys and two birdies left him 1-over par for the day and at 1-under 141 for the two-day event.
Albertson fell five strokes shy of the five qualifiers who advanced to next month’s U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek.
Wednesday was like deja vu for Albertson, who once again had trouble on his final seven holes, like he did Tuesday. Only this time, instead of not making enough birdie putts, he found himself making too many bogeys.
“It was a frustrating day in general,” Albertson said. “I didn’t feel like I made a whole lot of putts both days. I couldn’t get the ball close enough to get those shots to go down.”
Albertson was 2-under and tied for 10th overall Tuesday. He fired nine consecutive pars through the first half of his round Wednesday, which extended into his first two holes of the back nine. He followed a bogey on No. 12 with a birdie at 13 and went into his final three holes at 2-under after back-to-back pars on 14 and 15.
“I knew where I was at that point, but you can never give up on a round,” he said. “I had chances on the front that didn’t go in. It would have been nice to get those, but things didn’t go my way. They go in, it makes the back easier.”
Albertson’s chances of qualifying fell short when he posted back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17. His birdie at the par-5 18th salvaged his round, leaving him tied for 11th.
“I just tried to play those last three holes the right way,” he said. “I knew 16 and 17 were difficult holes to birdie, and that’s why I had to make birdies before I got there. I knew I had my work cut out for me after 10 and 11. I had chances, but I missed.”
The first-round leader, Chris Waters of Atlanta, continued his steady play and finished atop the leaderboard at 10-under 132. After shooting a 65 on Tuesday, Waters, who will be making his second trip to the U.S. Amateur, returned Wednesday to post a 67 with five birdies, including four on the back nine.
Joining Waters at next month’s championship will be Savannah’s Joe Lewis, a rising senior at Mississippi, who carded an 8-under 134 and Peachtree Corners’ Zachary Healy, an incoming Georgia player, who shot 135.
Alpharetta’s Zack Jaworski and Cumming’s David Kleckner, rising juniors at Vanderbilt and Oglethorpe, respectively, also qualified with scores of 136.
Like Albertson, Canton’s Justin Johnson, a former Canton Golf Club champion, also saw his chances of qualifying unravel Wednesday.
Johnson had a bogey-free round Tuesday, when he shot 67 and was tied for third overall.
On Wednesday, however, a bogey on No. 4, double bogey on 11 and bogey on 12 left him even for the round which is where he finished, dropping him into a tie for 14th at 142.
Ball Ground’s Brandon Price made Tuesday’s cut and finished at 153. Woodstock resident Ryan Morley-Stockton also made the cut, finishing at 161.
This was the first of two Georgia qualifiers, with the second set for next week in Eatonton. Among the listed entrants at Reynolds Plantation are former Cherokee County high school standouts William Brackett, Riley Davenport, Jared O’Kelley and Adam Padgett.