PAOLI, Penn. (August 4, 2014) - The theme of the day at the 55th Pennsylvania Senior Amateur Championship was familiarity. Familiar names were in familiar places at a familiar course, as Saucon Valley CC's Robin McCool and The Club at Nevillewood's Paul Schlacter were atop the leaderboard after the first round at venerable Waynesborough Country Club, which was hosting the championship for the third time. McCool and Schlacter have combined to win three of the past four Senior Amateurs, and the pair, along with Gary Daniels of Applebrook GC, are the only players under par after the first round. McCool shot a two-under-par 69 for the round one lead.
"It was a real steady round," said McCool, who is attempting to defend the title he won last year at the Country Club of Scranton. "I got off to a quick start with a pair of birdies on the first two holes."
The birdie at the opening hole, a 363-yard par-4, was unexpected for McCool, as he was just trying to lag his birdie try toward the hole from about 15 feet.
"That was certainly a nice surprise," McCool said of the birdie putt.
After the round, McCool was quick with praise for Saucon Valley's Director of Golf, Gene Mattare.
"I have to give Gene credit. I took a putting lesson with him yesterday, and it clearly paid off," McCool said.
Schlacter, who won this event the last time it was held at Waynesborough in 2006, began his round on the back 9, and shook off an early bogey at the par-4 12th hole with a pair of birdies at 14 and 15 to make the turn at 1-under-par 35. After bogeys at holes 1 and 3, he rallied to birdie the par-5 7th and the par-4 8th to get into red numbers for the day with a score of 70. A four-time champion and three-time runner up, Schlacter is attempting to become the first player to win the championship five times.
Daniels began his quest for the title with four straight pars before dropping two shots with a double bogey on the 5th hole. He quickly recovered with a birdie on 7 and was steady with pars until No. 13, when he again bogeyed. At two-over for the day at that point, he then rallied to birdie 15, 17 and 18 on his way in to tie Schlacter for second place on the day.
In the Super-Senior Division, White Manor CC's Don Donatoni fired a 73 (+2) for a one-shot lead over a trio of players, including defending champion Lee Lykens (Clearfield-Curwensville CC), Michael Rose (Talamore CC) and Michael Anton (Lookaway GC).
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