Rutland VT –Don Reycroft (Lebaron Hills CC – MA) didn't get a fitful night of sleep on Monday, but he certainly wasn't complaining after he fired a 3-under par 67 on Tuesday afternoon to lead the way heading into the final round of the 2012 New England Senior Amateur Championship.
Reycroft, who is 56 years old, carded six birdies and three bogies at Rutland Country Club and holds a four-stroke advantage over William Hadden (Ekwanok CC – VT) and Kevin Carrozza (DW Field GC – MA), who posted scores of 1-over par 71.
"It was the best ball-striking day I have had all year," said Reycroft. "I probably hit 15 out of 18 greens, played out of almost every fairway and didn't three putt once. It was just a great day."
Following his practice round on Monday, Reycroft tried to get a good night's rest in but he woke up at 3:00 a.m. with thoughts of the round running through his head. He decided that going back to sleep was not his best option
"I had a bunch of notes so what I did was I put them into a Word document and then faxed them to myself at the hotel so that I would have them with me today," said Reycroft. "And let me tell you that I hit the ball exactly where I had to hit it today. I didn't leave myself any really ridiculous putts. It worked out for me."
Many competitors would be smart to get their hands on the meticulously typed-up document because Reycroft dominated a course that tamed so many great players on this day.
Starting his round with two straight pars, Reycroft sent his 6-iron shot on the 170-yard, par 3 3rd hole to two and a half feet. He then chipped – from just off the green on the 481-yard, par 5 4th hole – to two feet and eventually made the turn at 1-under par 34.
On the back nine, Reycroft continued to find the fairways and greens. He drained a 15 foot putt on the 10th hole as well as 10-foot birdie putts on the 13th and 15th holes. His only miscues on that back nine were bogies on the 11th and 16th holes.
However, Reycroft continued his sold play down the stretch and fittingly capped off his round by hitting his sand wedge approach on the 398-yard, par 4 18th hole to eight feet to set up what would be his sixth birdie of the day.
"I was low round of the day about five years ago at the New England Amateur when I shot 66 during the second round so I had a good day then but that seems like so long ago," said Reycroft when asked about his history at NEGA events. "For this year, this is the best round of golf I have played all year long competitively, no question about it."
With his notes tucked away in his golf bag, perhaps now Reycroft will finally be able rest well heading into tomorrow's second and final round of play in Rutland.
"I got all my work in last night," said Reycroft with a laugh. "The golf course isn't going to change over night. It is what it is."
Following today's first round, the field was re-paired by score. Nine-hole splits and final scores will be posted throughout the day on Wednesday at www.negagolf.org.
View results for New England Senior Amateur Golf Championship