LA HABRA HEIGHTS, California (June 26, 2017) -- Terry Foreman is nursing a bad right knee, and wears a serious brace to protect it. That brace was in clear view since Foreman, and every other contestant in the field was wearing shorts in 100 degree heat at Hacienda Golf Club.
Foreman, brace and all, posted even-par 71 today to take first round lead in the SCGA Senior Amateur over two of his Southern California peers, Craig Davis of Chula Vista and Mike Davis of Sherman Oaks.
And he didn't do it with his short game -- the 6'-2' Foreman thrust prodigious drives down the middle on a day when everything (not just the knee) was locked into place.
"I've been driving it really well the last couple of months," said Foreman. "I hit a couple of squirrelly ones in the practice round yesterday, but today it was great. I would have liked to make par on my last hole [the 9th] but that's ok."
Foreman adjusts his swing a bit to accommodate the knee, and carts are provided for contestants at the hilly Hacienda layout, where a rope tow is in place off the 9th green, to help golfers make it up the steep hill to No. 10.
"I keep more of my weight on my left side," said the right-handed Foreman, in describing the adjustment he has made to accommodate a knee that has had more than one surgery and numerous treatments.
Foreman started his round on the back nine, recording a steady string of pars followed by a birdie on the 13th, one of just four on the day on a hole that ranked toughest among the field, with a stroke average of 4.714. The dogleg left par-4 requires a perfectly-placed tee shot to a plateau fairway followed by a precision short iron approach to a green perched slightly higher and across a gully. There isn't much room for error, especially with today's front hole location.
After back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16, Foreman turned in 1-over 37, then went out and birdied Nos. 1 and 8. The 8th also has a plateau fairway and plays as one of the toughest on the course, with a stream running up the right side and crossing the fairway for good measure.
This isn't a first time thing for Foreman - the former European Tour player was runner-up in the 2013 and 2014 NCGA Senior Match Play and competed in the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur, among other things.
And sure, he made a bogey on the relatively straightforward 9th hole, but 71 and leading a talented field of players is, as he said "just where I want to be."
Craig Davis (Chula Vista) and Michael Turner (Sherman Oaks) were steady as she goes today, just two bogeys and a birdie in their 1-over rounds of 72 that place them tied for second.
Both are accomplished players. Davis was medalist in his U.S. Senior Open qualifier in 2012 and has multiple U.S. Mid-Ams under his belt. Turner has excelled at the USGA level as well, having reached match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur on multiple occasions, advancing to the Quarterfinals in 2014. (Last year he advanced to the round of 32.)
Michael Rowley, the founder of Straight Down apparel, would have been a good best-ball partner today - starting on No. 10, he birdied Nos. 12, 13, and 15 but sandwiched in a double bogey on No. 14. Still, he was 1-under through 8 holes but recorded four bogeys on the front side before finishing strong with a birdie on No. 9.
Had Foreman and Rowley been playing best-ball they would have shot 6-under. )Maybe there's a team there for a future tournament.)
Also in a four-way tie at 2-over 73 is 2011 and 2014 champion Jeff Burda (La Quinta); Gary Hardin (Carlsbad); and Rick Doebler (Fullerton).
View results for Southern California Senior Amateur
ABOUT THE Southern California Senior Amateur
This event is open to members with handicap
of 9.4 and below and are age 55 and above.
Competitors compete in 18 holes of qualifying play
order to reach the final field of 84 players. In the
championship, players compete over 54 holes of
play over three days. The top 30 players and ties
advance after 36 holes to the final round to
the overall Senior Amateur Champion.
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