First-round leader Tim Jackson (USGA photo)
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Round one of stroke play qualifying is complete at Hidden Creek Golf Club on day one of the U.S. Senior Amateur, and Tim Jackson of Germantown, Tenn. is out in front with a two-shot lead after an opening-round 68.
The spectacular Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore design on the southern end of New Jersey, just outside Atlantic City, is playing to 6,689 yards and is a par-71. Just four players broke par in the first round, and 75 players are at 5-over or better. The top 64 players will advance to match play at the conclusion of Sunday's round.
Two early rounds of 1-under par 70 were posted, by Don Dubois of Newport Beach and Doug LaCrosse of Tampa, Fla. But before the end of the day, the 1994 and 2001 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Jackson had gone two lower.
“I played a little shaky on the front, driving it, but found my sea legs around the eighth or ninth hole, and I really played well on the back,” the two-time Walker Cup competitor Jackson told the USGA. “I'm hoping to come out tomorrow, be able to swing free and make some birdies. I like to stay aggressive in this format.”
Joining the group of 70s is another former U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, Randal Lewis of Alma, Mich., who captured his USGA title in 2011. Six players are tied for fifth place at even-par 71, including Chip Lutz of Reading, Pa., Randy Haag of Orinda, Calif., and Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash.
Defending champion Pat Tallent is tied for 17th after a first-round 73, while last year's runner-up Bryan Norton is one of 18 players tied for 59th place at 76.
ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Amateur
The USGA Senior Amateur is open to those
with a USGA Handicap Index of 7.4 or lower,
who are 55 or older on or before the day the
championship begins. It is one of 14 national
championships conducted annually by the
USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
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