Virg. Club Championship: Chatmoss leads
HOT SPRINGS, Virg. (Oct. 20, 2013) –– Fueled by two rounds of 72 or better, Martinsville-based Chatmoss Country Club shot an opening day score of 1-over-par 141 at the 71st Virginia State Golf Association Club Championship being conducted at The Homestead’s Cascades Course and owns a four-stroke lead entering Monday’s final round of the event.

Seven-time VSGA golfer of the year Keith Decker (Martinsville) led the way for Chatmoss, equaling a day-one best score of 1-under 69, while fellow Martinsville resident Brandon Grogan added 2-over 72 in the three-count two format.

Spring Creek Golf Club (145, 69-76), located in Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg-based Lee’s Hill Golf Club (145, 71-74) are the next nearest pursuers at five over par for the championship.

The 53-year-old Decker, playing as a senior competitor for Chatmoss, logged three birdies against two bogeys. Decker has played the course countless times—he estimated that he’s toured the Cascades on more than 100 occasions—and his familiarity with the subtleties of one of the premier mountain layouts in the country was undoubtedly an ally. He made all three birdies on the second nine, knocking in a 10-footer at the par-4 10th before making late birdies at back-to-back par 5s, Nos. 16 and 17, from inside seven feet.

“It turned out OK. Playing the senior tees, it was a little shorter than normal,” said Decker, referring to the 300-plus yard total difference in distance compared to the regular tees. “I was fairly consistent today. We’d like to duplicate tomorrow what we did today.”

Monday’s final round will be conducted at the resort’s Old Course. Decker, a seven-time VSGA golfer of the year, won’t have to look hard to find good vibes on the layout where he owns the course record of 14-under 58 that he shot in 2011.

Grogan had three birdies which was enough to make his score count in a round that also included five bogeys on the demanding track. Chatmoss claimed the title in 2010 and will be looking for their second victory in recent renewals of the championship.

In pacing the Spring Creek Golf Club team, Gordonsville’s Brad Ferguson, the reigning VSGA Four-Ball champion, equaled a day-one best, carding 1-under 69, registering the low round among the regulars. Ferguson, 39, birdied Nos. 16 and 17 en route to posting red numbers. Meanwhile, Vincent Nadeau (Gordonsville), the competitor with whom Ferguson partnered with to win the Four-Ball this spring, supplied the team’s other score of 6-over 76.

Fredericksburg’s Jon Hurst shot 1-over 71 to lead Lee’s Hill Golf Club. Three over par for the day entering the final two holes, Hurst made an eagle-3 at the par-5 17th hole. Hurst, 44, won last month’s VSGA Mid-Amateur and his strong play continues. Senior Al Bello III, 52,accounted for Lee’s Hill’s other total of 4-over 74.

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