Killington, VT (July 16, 2013) -- One might think that playing 131 holes of golf in seven days would tire someone out.
Remarkably, that was not the case for Jamison Randall (Alpine CC - RI), who fired a 5-under par 66 to grab the day-one lead at the 2013 New England Amateur Championship, which is being held this week at Green Mountain National Golf Course.
Randall, who last week logged 104 holes of golf en route to advancing to the semifinals of the 2013 Rhode Island Amateur Championship, played a practice round at Green Mountain National Golf Course on Monday and then came out on Tuesday to post the low round of the day.
He currently leads five players – Brian Carlson (Clinton CC – CT), Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC – MA), Ryan Kohler (Hooper GC - CT), Zach Zaback (TPC River Highlands - CT), Billy Walthouse (Longmeadow CC – MA) – by one stroke heading into the second round of play.
Not far behind - with scores of 3-under par 68 - are home-town favorites Landon Michelson (Sugarbush Resort GC) and Evan Russell (CC of Vermont - VT). They are two of 21 Vermont Golf Association (VGA) representatives in this year's field.
Following the second round of play on Wednesday, the field will be reduced to the low 60 scorers and ties. Only those competitors will return to Green Mountain National Golf Course on Thursday to compete in a final 18 holes of golf.
“It is fatiguing, but I have played a lot of golf in my life and I have learned to play when I am tired,” said Randall, who fell to Brad Valois (Metacomet CC – RI) in the semifinals. “I have learned how to deal with it and [learned] what I do when I am tired and that definitely contributed to today.”
On this day in Killington, Randall got off to a fast start by making birdie on the 513-yard, par 5 1st hole. Despite making two bogies on that front nine, Randall made the turn at 1-under par 35.
“In my last match against Brad Valois, I think what happened was that I tried to focus too much on winning and getting into the finals and I forgot to play my own game,” said Randall. “Today I felt loose and had a nice light grip on the club. I focused on playing my game and letting my game do the work.”
His game most certainly took over on the back nine. After beginning the back nine with a birdie and bogie, Randall launched up the leaderboard by making birdie on the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes.
“It was a strange round,” said Randall. “It didn’t get really good until the very end. Until then I was 1 under, but on the second half of the back I exploded.”
It began on the 356-yard, par 4 14th hole where Randall hit a wedge approach close. He then took a risk on the 466-yard, par 5 15th hole and hit driver off the tee. He managed to cut the dogleg to leave him a 9-iron shot to the green to set up a birdie attempt.
He followed that up by making a nice downhill putt on the 16th hole and then hit a pure 6-iron approach to five feet on the 204-yard, par 3 17th hole.
“It was a mixture of all of that,” said Randall, when asked what went well on Tuesday. “There is usually one or two things like I will swing not that great but I’ll putt well or chip well and my short game will be good. Or I will hit it well and not be able to make any putts well and shoot over par. Today I was rolling it. I hitting it well and putting well and when you do that you are putting yourself in good position.”
Randall is no stranger to being in contention. The junior at Old Dominion University won his first collegiate tournament this past season with a 54-hole victory at the Raines Development Intercollegiate Championship. The spring saw Randall post two top 20 finishes and close out the year with a tie for 44th at the Conference USA Championships.
He was also the 2010 Rhode Island Junior Amateur Champion and was the low scorer at the 2010 New England Junior Amateur Championship. Just last year, Randall finished T16 at the 2012 New England Amateur Championship.
“I played pretty average golf up until the Amateur,” said Randall. “Right before the Amateur I started to get into what felt like mid-season form to me.”
And the keys to keeping up this type of pace at Green Mountain National Golf Course this week.”
“To win here you need accuracy off the tee and you need to be able to keep the ball in play,” said Randall. “You need good speed control on the greens… and patience. You are not going to make every putt out there, and you just need to be patient and let it happen like it did for me today.’