Trio at the top at Mass. Senior Amateur
BREWSTER, Mass. (Sept. 24, 2012) -- Three of the competitors atop the leaderboard at the 2012 Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship are doing their best to show off their home-course advantage.

After all, this annual MGA Championship - which is being held this week at Cape Cod National Golf Club – is a familiar destination for Kevin Carey (Dennis Pines GC), Joe Walker (Dennis Pines GC) and Joe Keller (Oyster Harbors).

"There is a Cape advantage," said Walker who resides in Dennis and stands just one stroke back of Carey. "Kevin has probably played about 20 rounds of golf here, and I have played eight or nine and it does help you a little bit. When you hit a shot into the green it's nice to know where your uphill putt is going to be and not have to guess."

Carey – Walker's good friend and regular playing partner – concurred with that assessment after he fired a day-low score of 1-under par 71 to hold a one stroke lead over Walker and a two-stroke advantage over Keller and Ian Harrison (Marshfield CC), who both carded scores of 1-over par 73.

"I love it here," said Carey. "I used to play here a lot because I had two good friends who were members."

That local knowledge, along with a punishing driver, paid dividends today.

Carey began his round on the 510-yard, par 5 10th hole and easily reached the green in two and two putted for birdie. He made a second birdie on the 12th hole, but suffered a bogey on the 18th hole to make the turn at 1-under par 35.

"I didn't putt that well but I played good and was happy," said Carey who also managed to get up-and-down from the bunker to save par on the 15th hole.

On the course's front nine, Carey made three birdies – on the 2nd, 5th and 7th holes – and one bogey to find himself 3-under par. He had also just come off a tremendous save on the 311-yard, par 4 7th hole where his second shot found the greenside bunker.

"It was a turning point for me," said Carey. "I had a good drive right down the middle of the fairway. I had 135 yards in and I hit a fat 8 iron into the bunker and then made it out of the bunker."

Staring at a low number for the round, the unfathomable happened just two holes later. Carey sent another good-looking 3 wood off the tee and watched as the ball caught a corner tree about 230 yards out.

"It hit the top of the tree and I saw it bounce up about three feet and that was it," said Carey. "It stayed right there. I had to hit a provisional and I ended up with a 6."

Despite its unfortunate ending, Carey's round was still good enough to stand alone atop the leaderboard with just 18 holes to play on Tuesday.

ABOUT THE Massachusetts Senior Amateur

Entries are open to amateur golfers who hold membership in an MGA member club, who have reached their 55th birthday by the first day of the tournament and have an up- to-date MGA/USGA GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 8.0 or have completed their handicap certification as defined on the Entry Form. Competition will be 36 Holes at Stroke Play.

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