Two Shoot 1-under 70s For Early Lead at 2018 NYS Men's Senior Amateur
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Two players fired 1-under 70s during Tuesday’s opening round of the 62nd New York State Men’s Senior Amateur Championship at Mohawk Golf Club in Schenectady.
The first-round co-leaders are Bob Hughes of Ives Hill Country Club and Bob Cooper of Schenectady Municipal Golf.
Daniel Russo of Schuyler Meadows Club and Michael McNulty of Park Country Club both finished at even-par 71 on the beautiful 6,404-yard Devereux Emmet layout.
David Wailes of NYSGA eClub – Central NY came in at 72, and Wade Sarkis of Canandaigua Country Club as well as Brian Brown of Southward Ho Country Club finished at 73.
Eight players opened with 74s including Paul Auletta of Onondaga Golf & Country Club, Tom Sanford of Wiltwyck Golf Club, David Arkelian of Country Club of Troy, Jim Mueller of Orchard Creek Golf Club, Jim Burns of Canandaigua Country Club, Jim Mason of Oak Hill Country Club, 2015 champion Tom Fletcher of Tuscarora Golf Club, and 2016 champion Paul Pratico of Schenectady Municipal Golf.
Due to the inclement weather that moved into the area on Monday night through Tuesday morning, the tournament committee decided to change the opening round format from morning and afternoon threesomes off #1 and #10, to a 1:00pm shotgun, repaired in foursomes to avoid the weather, and prepare the course to ensure the field could get the round in.
It proved to be the right decision as the skies cleared throughout the afternoon and into evening as the 132-player field navigated the course.
Co-leading Cooper, who lives only a few miles down the road, has a strong familiarity with the golf course and was pleasantly surprised with how it held up against the weather.
“Ten feet below the hole was the ideal shot today, and that was what I was trying to do. I hit a lot of good irons, ten to twelve feet, just couldn’t get them in the hole.” He mentioned of his round. “I’ve been playing pretty good this year…I’m hoping to do the same thing for two more days.”
Hughes, who came down from Watertown, felt the slower green speeds (due to the weather) helped to instill confidence in his putting. “I got up and down a couple of times early and made a few five-foot putts that gave me confidence. The speed really took the bite out of the undulations, if you were above the hole there wasn’t that fear factor that there would normally be.”
“I missed it in the right spots and got up and down so as long as I continue to do that, I’ll be alright,” he mentioned of the 36 holes left in this week’s championship.
In the 23rd NYS Super Senior Amateur, for players ages 65 & older who elect to compete in the division, Jim Hamburger’s 1-over 72 was enough to capture an early lead.
Four players, three of which are past state champions, are tied for second at 73 including Larry Arliss of Wayne Hills Country Club, six-time titleholder Charles Connolly of Kingsbury National Golf Course, 2006 senior champion Don Van Gorder of Newman Municipal Golf Course, and 2014 senior champion Frank Plata of Hiland Park Country Club.
Three sit at 74 including Steve Wade of Canandaigua Country Club, Curt Reimer of Golf Club at Blue Heron Hills, and Donald Lalonde of Stonehedges Golf Club.
The older division played the course at a shorter yardage of 6,068 yards.
Hamburger, who plays out of McCann Golf Course in Dutchess County, began his round with a bogey on the par-4 eighth, but slowly built up momentum throughout the afternoon en route to his leading score.
“I didn’t start well, but then steadied the ship and played better as I went along. I got used to the green speeds, which helped. I think the biggest thing was that I hit my driver straight, and was in play almost all the time, which made the course a lot more playable.”
When asked of his thoughts on today’s round and leading after the opener, he mentioned, “For all the rain that we’ve had I thought the course was in really good shape. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and quite frankly I’m just happy we were able to play today.”
Both fields will be repaired back into threesomes tomorrow with morning and afternoon tee times off #1 and #10 beginning at 8:00am.
After tomorrow’s round, the two divisions will be cut to the low 50% of the field and ties for the final 18 holes of the tournament to be conducted on Thursday morning.