Virginia Senior Stroke Play: Williams leads by 4

ASHBURN, Va. (June 15, 2011) –– Northern Virginian Stan Williams, 58, of Arlington shot a first round 5-under-par 67 and owns a four-stroke lead entering Thursday’s final day of the 26th VSGA Senior Stroke Play Championship at Belmont Country Club (6,478 yards for seniors, 5,938 yards for super seniors, par 36-36—72).

Williams, looking for his first VSGA individual title, shot his low competitive round of the season on day one. Recent VSGA Senior Four-Ball partners Tim Kelley, 55, of Ashland and David Partridge, 56, of Manakin are his nearest pursuers after firing 1-under 71. Salem’s Jack Allara II and David Pleasants (Cartersville) opened with even-par 72.

Even par through seven holes, Williams played nearly flawlessly the rest of the way, stuffing his tee shot to 5 inches at the par-3 eighth before continuing his momentum by knocking in a 15-footer for birdie one hole later to turn in two under.

A VSGA member at nearby River Creek Club in Leesburg, Williams looked right at home at the host site, registering consecutive birdies at Nos. 13 and 14, before completing the memorable day by nearly holing out his third shot at the par-5 finishing hole for a tap-in birdie. The long-hitting Williams birdied three of the layout’s four par 5s.

“This course fits my eye,” he said.

Williams is no stranger to the competitive stage. He won the Northern Virginia Amateur in 2002 and 2006 and claimed the Middle Atlantic Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship last May. He continues to build on a memorable 2010 season in which he also took home the Northern Virginia Senior Amateur title.

Now, he’s trying to put a VSGA victory next to his name. Williams says he won’t alter his strategy in the final round even with ownership of the lead.

“The key is going to be to stick with what I have and hope it works,” he said. “I’m not going to change anything.”

Kelley began to solidify a roller coaster round by playing the final four holes in two under par. Partridge, meanwhile, played his trademark consistent golf much of the way, collecting 14 pars. He made three birdies – all of which came over the course of the final seven holes – to offset a double bogey at the par-4 15th hole.

In the super senior division (ages 65 and over), Arlington’s Peter Jacobi, a VSGA member at Army Navy Country Club, shot 3-under-par 69 to lead the way. Former Senior Stroke Play champion Stan Fischer of Richmond shot his age, carding 2-under 70. Super senior rookie Bill Stout (Arlington) had even-par 72.

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