Mass. Open: Rain, pros steal Round 1
Auburndale, MA — The first day of the 2013 Massachusetts Open Championship at Woodland Golf Club began and ended with rain. Heavy rains that started on Monday and ended on Tuesday morning resulted in a delay of 90 minutes off the tee in the morning.

For most of the day, the rain held off and 76% of the starting field was able to complete the first round of play.

However, precipitation returned to the area during the late afternoon hours. At approximately 6:50 p.m., play was officially suspended for the day. A total of 31 competitors were still on the course at that time. The last group off the tee had six holes remaining.

Those competitors who did not complete the first round on Tuesday will return to Woodland Golf Club on Wednesday. Round-one play will resume at 6:30 a.m. The second round of play will commence at approximately 8:00 a.m., which is 30 minutes later than originally scheduled.

"We did what we could to get the first round completed but Mother Nature did not allow us to accomplish our objective today," said Jesse Menachem, the MGA’s Director of Rules & Competitions. "The forecast is looking more favorable, and we are confident that we will complete all 54 holes by Thursday."

Just before play was suspended on Tuesday afternoon, Cape Cod native and longtime golf professional Jason Caron (Stamford, CT) grabbed the lead by posting a score of 4-under par 68. It was a remarkable round that began unceremoniously with five pars and one bogey through his first six holes.

“I haven’t been here since 1994 when the Mass Open was last held here,” said Caron, who will turn 41 later this summer. “I won the amateur part of that tournament in a playoff, so I had good memories of this place coming in.”

Beginning on the 7th hole, Caron was unstoppable. He played 5-under par golf through his final 12 holes. He made birdie on the 7th, 9th, 12th, 16th and 18th holes.

Highlights from his round included a 15-foot birdie putt on the 354-yard, par 4 16th hole. He also – just one hole before – saved par by making a great chip from off the green. He capped off his round by sending his gap wedge approach on the 18th hole to 15 feet for his fifth and final birdie of the day.

“I kept it in play today,” said Caron. “I stepped onto the tee and tried to hit it straight, hit the fairways and find the middle of the greens. I figured that I would hit some putts and miss others and then see how it went.”

Caron, who once played on the Nationwide Tour, is no stranger to winning on the New England circuit. Last August, he captured his first Connecticut Open. That marked his first victory - outside of one-day tournaments - since 1999 on the Hooters Tour.

Since that time, golf has taken a back seat to his job as a golf professional at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York and as a new father. He and his wife Liz Janangelo – a former Duke University standout and Futures Tour player – welcomed their first child back in January.

“I haven’t played much at all this year,” said Caron. “My duties at the club have gotten advanced and we had the baby in January, so there has been a lot of stuff going on. Golf is about fourth on the list right now.”

Thankfully for Caron, the management team at Siwanoy Country Club allows him time off to play in a select number of events during the summer months.

Following his first-round score of 4-under par 68, Caron is happy that he placed the Massachusetts Open Championship on that list.

ABOUT THE Massachusetts Open

54 hole stroke play championship open to professional golfers and amateur golfers with an active USGA GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4, or who have completed their handicap certification. Nonexempt players must pre-qualify.

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