WARWICK, RI (July 19, 2005) -– Jim Renner (Foxborough CC - MA) and Trevor Murphy (St. Johnsbury CC - VT) continued their stellar month of golf this afternoon by posting low rounds of 5-under par 66 to take a one stroke lead following the first round of the New England Amateur Championship, which is being held this week at Valley Country Club in Warwick.
Earlier this month, Murphy captured the Vermont Amateur Championship while Renner advanced to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship where he was defeated by eventual semifinalist Michelle Wie. On this day, however, despite the heat and humidity that took a toll on the field there was no one better than Renner and Murphy.
Renner, who started his round on the 10 th tee, whipped off a phenomenal round that featured six birdies and only one bogie. He made birdie on the 368-yard, par 4 11 th hole before posting his sole bogey on the long 211-yard, par 3 12 th hole. That would be the only miscue on Renner’s scorecard as he was 5-under for his final 15 holes. Meanwhile, Murphy, a UNC-Charlotte golf standout, was perfect on the day as he registered birdies on the 3 rd, 7 th, 9 th, 10 th and 11 th holes.
One stroke back of Renner and Murphy is last year’s runner-up Brett Stegmaier (New Haven CC - CT), who fired a 4-under par 67. Stegmaier was perfect on the day as he registered zero bogies and four birdies on the 2nd, 8th, 15th and 18th holes. One year ago, Stegmaier came oh-so-close to capturing this title but fell just short and finished in second place.
Also on the first page of the leaderboard with scores of 3-under par 68 are two former State Amateur champions, Andy Drohen (St. Anne CC - MA) and George Pirie (Valley CC - RI) as well as Shane Rice (Valley CC - RI). Veteran Pirie, who is playing this week on his home course here in Warwick , is a three-time Rhode Island Amateur champion, while Drohen was victor of the Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship in 2003 and the Massachusetts Amateur Championship in 2004.
Turning in scores of 2-under par 69 are a host of players including Jonathan Dudley (Orleans CC - VT), John Gilmartin (Indian Ridge CC - MA), Dustin Cone (Mt. Anthony CC -VT) and Mark Farrell (H. Smith Richardson GC - CT). Still very much in the hunt is two-time defending champion Michael Welch (Furnace Brook GC - MA), who turned in a score of even par 71. Also included in that group at even par 71 is 2005 Massachusetts Amateur Champion Frank Vana, Jr. (Marlborough CC - MA).
The entire 162-player field will return to Warwick on Wednesday to compete in a second round of 18 holes of stroke play. Following Wednesday’s round, the field will be reduced to the low 40 scorers and ties, and only those individuals will return to Valley Country Club on Thursday for a final day of 36 holes of stroke play.