THE WOODLANDS, Tex. (May 16, 2007)—Jerry Ledzinski, the 2006 Carlton Woods Invitational mid-am runner-up, said that the first day of this second-annual tournament would be about pacing.
“The big thing today is to not shoot yourself out of it early,” said the Carmel, California resident. “You might see a couple of red numbers but not many.”
He turned out to be exactly correct, as a pair of San Antonio golfers, mid-am Jonathan Mathias and senior Bob Hullender each fired 70’s on the 7154-yard Nicklaus course to take the early lead in the 54-hole tournament.
Mathias shot a 2-under-par 70 on the 7154-yard Nicklaus course to capture a three-shot lead over David Bartman of Los Angeles.
Texans Dean Hall of Montgomery and Jay Pumphrey of Georgetown are tied for third place at 74.
Hullender, the defending senior champion, fired his age in the opening round for the second straight year thanks to a hot putter. After a two-over-par 38 on the front nine, he got hot with birdies at 11, 12, 13, and 15 before reaching the pesky 17th hole where he made a bogey-4. On the 530 yard 18th hole, he was left with 204 to the pin on his second shot. Faced with the same decision as the Mid-Am leaders, he never hesitated and safely landed his hybrid on the green in two and two-putted for his fifth birdie and a tournament-record 32 on the back nine.
“You know in 3 or 4 more years shooting my age is not going to be very good. I’m going to have to get better than that,” Hullender said.
The defending champ holds a four-stroke lead over Jerry Hudgins of Houston. Two others are tied for third 1 stroke back.
*** Notes from the course ***
-Mathias’ 2-under par 70 set a new 18-hole mid-am tournament record on the Nicklaus Course. He got on the board early with back-to-back birdies on the 3rd and 4th holes and extended his lead on the 6th hole with another birdie before giving one back with a bogey 4 on the 7th hole.
-On the risk/reward 18th hole, Mathias was faced with the same decision that later came back to bite his competition, whether or not to go for the par-5 in two. “I played 18 as smart as I could. I hit driver and layed up with a five-iron and had a lob wedge into the green. I made birdie the conventional way,” said Mathias. He added, “I’ve heard so many great things about this tournament from the guys I play with in other events. The course really lived up to its reputation. This golf course is perfect, there’s nothing out of place and the greens are quick.”
-David Bartman, was one who got a bit too bold on the last hole. After matching Mathias’ front nine score of 34 by making two birdies and an eagle, he stumbled a bit on the way in with a bogey-4 on the 17th and found the water on a 208-yard shot on 18.
-Ledzinski is lurking at 3-over in the mid-am, while last year’s winner, Andy Cooper of The Woodlands stumbled to an opening-round 80 and sits in a tie for 30th.
Play will continue Thursday at the Carlton Woods Fazio course.
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