ELVERSON, PA (September 10, 2016) -- Playing on the North Course at Stonewall Links Scott Harvey and Brad Wilder fired first round 4-under 67's to take the lead at the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Harvey, the 2014 champion and reigning medalist winner, bogeyed the 2nd hole but quickly got back to even-par with a birdie on the 3rd. Following a stretch of pars Harvey moved into red figures with a birdie on the 8th and then reached 3-under with two more birds on the 11th and 12th holes.
“My game is not as sharp as the number is; it’s a little bit of smoke and mirrors there,” said Harvey. “But as the round went on I felt a little more comfortable, so hopefully it keeps trending in that direction.”
One more bogey followed on the 13th before Harvey finished with birdies on the 14th and 18th holes.
Wilder reached 4-under thanks to a five birdie, two bogey first round. A semifinalist a year ago, Wilder birdied three holes during a five hole stretch on the front nine and then birdied 15 and 16 back-to-back on his way to the house.
“My guess coming in was that this one was going to be more gettable,” Wider said of having to play separate courses. “The hole locations were kind of hard but not really hard. So I think there were some you could get, obviously, and others you had to be smart with.”
Two players, Derek Busby and Jim Coleman, will begin the final day of stroke-play qualifying tied for third at 3-under after 68's.
Busby carded four birdies and one bogey during his opening round on the North Course. After birdieing one and bogeying one on the front side, Busby got things rolling with three birdies coming in.
Playing in just his second U.S. Mid-Amateur Busby said following his day, “My wedges were really good today, so I was able to take advantage of the shorter holes and that gave me some leeway to not have to press on the really difficult holes.”
For Coleman, also playing the North Course, it was a five birdie and two bogey Saturday. Coleman, who played in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur, made the turn at 1-over before birdieing four holes on the backside.
“I’ve never been in this position in a big event like this,” Coleman said. “My expectations coming into this thing were that if I were to make match play it would be a big deal for me.”
The lowest first round score on the Old Course was a 2-under 68 posted by Tom Werkmeister. it was an interesting scorecard for Werkmeister as he double-bogeyed one, bogeyed two and birdied six, including three in a row from Nos. 11-13.
Defending champion Sammy Schmitz struggled on the first day with a 5-over 75 on the Old Course. Schmitz is currently tied for 94th.
Four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith also had a rough opening round as he shot a 6-over 76 and is tied for 127th.
-The USGA contributed to this story