LONG GROVE, Ill. (Sept. 15, 2014) — Even par was enough for Ted Pecora of Glencoe and Glen Ellyn's John Pigott to grab a share of the first-round lead at the 28th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship. A foursome of others shot one-over par 73 to sit one stroke off the lead heading in to Tuesday's second round at the Royal Country Club of Long Grove.
Playing from the second tee time, a back-nine charge by Pigott keyed his 72. After a birdie on four, Pigott found himself at 2-over par through 11 due to bogeys on 7, 9 and 11. However, he recovered with birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th to stake an early claim to the lead.
Starting on the 10th hole, Pecora, a 2014 U.S. Senior Open participant, began his round with seven straight pars before it became more adventurous. Beginning with a birdie on the par-3 17th, Pecora either birdied or bogeyed eight of his next nine holes, before parring his final two to finish the round even.
Mark Esposito (Elgin), Ken Highlander (Edwardsville), Fred Lukasik (Rock Island) and Ed Whitaker (Tremont) make up the four-way tie for third after shooting one-over par 73s. Bruce Jacobson of South Elgin sits seventh after a 2-over par 74.
Six players sit T8 after 3-over par 75s, including Tom Studer of Joliet. Studer, a two-time champion in this event, is one of two in the field looking to become the first player ever to hoist the Earl R. Liff Trophy three times. The other, Kewanee's Tom Miler, is T14 after a 4-over par 76.
Defending champion Dave Ryan and Vance Antoniou withdrew after competing in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship in California over the weekend. Chicago's Ted Zurkowski also withdrew after advancing to matchplay in the U.S. Senior Am, where he fell in his Round of 64 match on Monday.
Round two will begin Tuesday at 8 a.m., after which the field will be cut to the low 35, ties, and anyone within 10 strokes of the lead. Pecora will start his round on the first tee at 8:16 a.m., while will start on 10 at 9:04 a.m.