GOLF: Tricky greens tell the story at club championship
While the lion’s share of up-and-comers struggled with unpredictable green speeds, the old guard flourished in Saturday’s opening round of the annual Meadow Lane Golf Course club championship.
Ray Blystone, Chris Edwards and Mike Rieg each shot a 4-over-par 74, ending the first round in a three-way tie for first place.
Rick Moorhead trails by a stroke, and Kevin Jack and Colton Wiggins are each two shots back heading into today’s second and final round.
Paula Witherow shot an 81 and holds a seven-stroke lead over Vicky Nastase in the ladies’ championship.
Jack leads the junior championship with a 76, and Rieg sits in first in the senior championship.
Other flight leaders are Garet Weston (80), first; Brad Malenich (79), second; Jordan Riddle (78), third; and Jack Tozer (88), fourth.
Seeking his first club championship, Blystone birdied Nos. 3, 9 and 15 and parred seven other holes to finish 2-over-par on both the front and back 9s.
“The greens were slow and the pins were in some tough places, but I thought the course was set up really fair today,” said Blystone. “I was able to keep the ball out of trouble, and my partners were able to keep the ball out of trouble, and I think that’s why the whole group played so well.”
Edwards, a four-time club champion, mustered his lone birdie of the day on No. 1, a tricky par-4 hole that includes a massive water hazard on its left.
Unlike Blystone though, Edwards characterized the greens as swift and unforgiving.
“They certainly weren’t slow,” said Edwards. “They just rolled them yesterday so they were very speedy. It made it hard to run birdie putts. You pretty much had to just trickle your putts toward the hole.”
Rieg parred seven of his first nine holes to finish the front 9 with a 2-over-par 37. Then, after starting the back 9 with two bogeys and a double bogey, Rieg birdied two of his last four holes (No. 15 and 17) to finish the back 9 with a 2-over-par 37.
In pursuit of his fourth club title, Moorhead parred four holes and birdied another (No. 4) to card a 37 on the front 9. Moorhead failed to sink a birdie on the back 9 but parred six of eight holes to tally a 38.
“I feel good,” Moorhead said. “I played good tee-to-green today. I just didn’t make any putts. The greens were tough, though. Some of the pins were tucked, and even though they said they rolled them, the greens were slow. Hopefully it’s better tomorrow because I expect lower scores from everyone.”
After triple bogeying No. 13, Witherow regained her footing and parred four of her last five holes to finish the back 9 with a 42. Nastase, who shot a 42 on the front 9, finished the last four holes of the back 9 with a triple bogey, two double bogeys and a bogey.
AT CHESTNUT RIDGE: Scott Stuchal and Chris Matava each fired an even-par 72 to finish on top of the pack in the opening round of the Chestnut Ridge Golf Course club championship.
Jason Buggey trails both Stuchal and Matava by one stroke, and Jason Csanyi sits two shots back at 74. Bob Hicks tallied a 76, and Mike Gaydosh had a 77.
Other flight leaders are Cody Trabert (78), first; Jim Racchini, Caleb Fritz, John Ramsden and Brent Bloom (84), second; Emily Slifka and Joe Kosmack (90), third, and Bob Elder and Joe Tucci (97), fourth.