SEASIDE, Calif. (May 23, 2009) -- Spencer Fletcher of Los Altos played steady golf, recording just two bogeys against four birdies to lead the 9th amateurgolf.com Monterey Bay Championship, presented by Bridgestone Golf, by one stroke today at Black Horse Golf Course.
Fletcher started hot, on an otherwise bone-chilling misty day, with birdies on the par-5 first hole and the par-4 fourth, but gave back one of those red numbers with a bogey at the par-3 fifth. Another bogey on the 13th -- "I almost holed the par save," noted the Fletcher -- put him back at even par.
Birdies on two of the final three holes put Fletcher into the lead position heading into Sunday's final round at Bayonet. He is trailed by Chris Marin (under the weather with a cold, but still shooting 71); Dino Giacomazzi, a member of Bayonet Black Horse and solid left hander at 72; and Randy Haag, Taylor Travis, and Kevin Smith at 73.
In the Senior Division Gary Vanier, fresh off a late April win at the NCGA Senior Championship, fired an even par round of 72 to lead by one over Tom O'Grady and Steve Donnelly.
O'Grady notched the shot of the day, eliciting a wave of arms from the four players who had just finished the 11th hole. Standing with his feet in the left hand fairway bunker, a shot which "Doc" Miller called next to impossible -- "I didn't want to say anything, but it was," said Miller -- O'Grady hit a five iron that hit the green, rolled like a putt, and found the cup for an eagle two.
Andrew Loftus is one of the few, if not only, player to have competed in all nine of these championships and he has used his local knowledge and comfort as a past champion to take a commanding first round lead in the Net Division with a 4-under 68. Korsen Yu and Kevin Logan trail him by four strokes at even par 72.
The final round will be an 8:30am shotgun, with leaders paired together, on Bayonet G.C.