Don Enga leads early at New York Senior Amateur
Don Enga
Don Enga

FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. — Don Enga attained an early lead over the crowded leaderboard after posting 1-under par 70 during Tuesday’s opening round at Onondaga Golf and Country Club for the 59th New York State Men’s Senior Amateur Championship.

Jim Rodgers (Mark Twain GC) and Joseph Hobika Jr. (Yahnundasis GC) carded matching 1-over 72’s on the well-respected Walter Travis design. They are tied for second and just two strokes behind the first round leader.

Three more are pressing the lead after posting 2-over 73’s; including Jeff Reissman (Hollow Brook GC), Joe Valvo (2015 NYSGA Associate Member) and Michael Naton (Tuscarora GC).

Defending champion, Frank Plata (Cazenovia CC), was back and forth today but posted a respectable 5-over 76 after two birdies, three bogies and two doubles. Plata has put together two district wins this summer claiming the Syracuse Men’s Senior District Amateur and the Post-Standard Senior Championship.

Enga (2015 NYSGA Associate Member) offset his two birdies with two bogies on the front to keep himself at even par through the turn. On his way back in, he knocked down three additional birdies to finish as the lone under-par scorer in the opening round.

“I took advantage of a couple putts, I had a couple two or three footers for birdie,” said Enga.

Enga, a native of Syosset in Long Island and a member at Cherry Valley Club, finished tied for fourth in the 2015 MGA Senior Amateur Championship at Westchester Country Club with a two round total of 148 (76-72).

He hopes to continue his high level of senior level tournament play this week. He continued, “Hit fairways, hit greens, you’re going to have a good round. It’s that simple.”

In the 20th N.Y.S. Men’s Super-Senior Amateur Championship, Woody Arnold, from Park Country Club near Buffalo, posted a 1-over 72 to separate himself from the rest of the pack by a 2-stroke margin.

Three sit tied for second, including defending champion Randy Young (Bellevue CC) along with Onondaga Golf & Country Club member Nick Raasch and John Hathaway (2015 NYSGA Associate Member); all carded 3-over 74’s during the afternoon wave of tee times.

Arnold had an enthralling start to his opening round, as he birdied his first two holes of the day (#10 and #11). On the par-4 11th he boosted a downhill second-shot wedge over the back of the green where the flagstick was barely visible. He exceeded his own expectations as he tried for an up-and-down to save par. “I’m thinking, well I’m screwed. I wedge it up there and it goes in the hole…I didn’t even see it go in,” stated Arnold. “It helped me confidence-wise going forward.” That shot brought him to 2-under through two holes.

When asked what his mindset was moving into the rest of the week, Arnold insisted, “I will do everything in my power to take it one shot at a time and focus on the target, not on my golf swing.”

Both championships will continue on Wednesday at 8:00 AM. There will be a cut after the second round to 50% of the field in each championship.

ABOUT THE New York Senior Amateur

Entries will be limited to male amateur golfers who enjoy membership privileges at Clubs belonging to the New York State Golf Association, or are NYSGA Associate Members. Entrants must have attained their 55th birthday. Super Senior entrants must have attained their 65th birthday.

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