Four Players Break Par In Friday's Opening Round of the 32nd N.Y.S. Men's Mid-Amateur
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Four players broke par during Friday’s opening round at century old Wolferts Roost Country Club for the 32nd New York State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Tim Spitz from Monroe Golf Club fired an opening round total of 3-under 67 to snatch an early lead over the competition. One stroke off the mark is David Hayes (Schuyler Meadows Club) who posted the morning wave’s low score of 2-under. Tied for third at 1-under 69 sit defending Mid-Am champion Jamie Miller (Wanakah CC) and past Mid-AM champion Luke Hobika (Cavalry Club).
Spitz methodically knocked down four birdies through his first thirteen holes this afternoon. He was nearly errorless except for one small mistake on the par-5 14th. He pulled it just over the green on his layup and couldn’t convert his up-and-down for par. “I didn’t realize how short that hole played. I’ll hit a different club tomorrow,” he confirmed.
Earlier at the turn, he almost aced the 174-yard par-3 10th and left just a tap in for birdie. “I hit it pin high right and it worked down that hill and I had six inches. I don’t know how it didn’t go in, but ill take a two.”
The 6,255-yard par-70 course relies on slick and tricky greens as defense against scoring. “They’re tough greens to putt, a lot of subtle undulations that you just don’t see,” said Spitz.
His current place on the leaderboard is no surprise after taking home the winner’s trophy in 2012 at Midvale CC, and was tied for first place after three rounds in 2013 at Onondaga G&CC, where he ended up losing on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. His only other Mid-Am appearance in New York was a decade ago at Country Club of Rochester, where he finished 6th.
Miller, who won at Teugega Country Club’s Donald Ross design last year, had an early mistake on the par-5 2nd but used it as motivation the rest of the way. “ I hit it out of bounds…I shouldn’t have hit driver,” he said. “ I’ve realized that I don’t play well if I don’t get at least a little fired up.” He birdied five holes throughout the rest of his round.
Hobika won his title in 1998 at Yahnundasis Golf Club in Utica. Although it’s been more than fifteen years since his title, he demonstrated he’s still a contender when he finished in third place in last year’s Mid-Am. Today, he turned with nine pars and mixed things up on the back a bit converting three birdies and two bogeys.
Hayes made the turn at two under par, but lost a few strokes on the back to set him at 1-over through 15. He proceeded to finish the last three holes with consecutive birdies to make up all the ground he had lost, staying in the red.
The field has been cut to 60 players who shot a 78 or below today. After tomorrow, another cut will be made to 30 players and ties for Sunday’s final round.
Dan Thompson, NYSGA Intern