Five Tied for Lead after First Round of N.Y.S. Men's Amateur Championship
The N.Y.S. Men’s Amateur Championship returns to Bellevue Country Club this week for the first time since Dr. Alan Foster won the first of his five NYSGA titles in 1975. The firm and fast 6,573 yard golf course provided a challenging test for players, with five players holding a tie for the lead at even par (71): Luke Feehan, Matthew Van Niekerk, Jake Card, Gair Carrigan and Matthew Lowe.
Carrigan, a past Bellevue member who grew up across the street from the second tee, was the first to post his even par round this morning. His round included a hole in one on the seventh hole, a downhill 155 yard par-3. With the hole was cut on the front portion of the green, his approached landed just on the front fringe and rolled into the cup. After the excitement of his ace he bogeyed the eighth and eleventh, but would play his last seven holes in even par.
Also tied for the lead is Matthew Lowe, an NYSGA Associate Member from Farmingdale who advanced via the Sunday Qualifier at Timber Banks. Lowe is a three-time Nassau County champion (2010, 2011, and 2013) who won the 2010 MGA Boys championship. As of late he has played some great golf, finishing tied for third at the 2014 MGA Ike Championship at the Montclair Golf Club in New Jersey. Lowe’s even par round consisted of three birdies and three bogeys, a consistent round for the late qualifier.
Luke Feehan’s even par round included an impressive finish. He made the turn in two-over 37, and then made three birdies (twelve, fourteen, and seventeen) and a final bogey on 18 to post a final nine score of 34, more than six strokes better than the field average of 40.4 for that side (79.1 average overall).
One stroke behind the leaders at one-over par is a group of four golfers that includes Xander McDonald-Smith, the 2014 New York City Amateur and MGA Public Links champion. Xander is heading into his senior season with Penn State University.
After the second round the field will be cut to the low 40 players and ties, and anyone within 10 strokes of the lead. Thursday’s final round will include a 36 hole marathon, with the leaders going out in twosomes starting at 7:30 in the morning.