Ledgemont Country Club
(Ledgemont Country Club Photo)
SEEKONK, RI (July 31, 2017) - Davis Chatfield did his damage over the entire front nine. Michael Carbone did the bulk of his damage on one hole on the back nine. And the two ended up Monday in the same spot _ tied for the lead in the 86th Rhode Island Open Championship at Ledgemont.
Chatfield, the 2016 Rhode Island Amateur champion, went out in a sparking 6-under 30 on the way to a 5-under 66. Carbone had a hole-in-one on the 171-yard 15h hole, in which he tore apart the grass around the cup, carrying him to his 66.
The two needed all the strong play they could muster since scoring was outstanding on an absolutely gorgeous day.
Five others, including New England Amateur champion Bobby Leopold and former PGA Tour pro Brad Adamonis of Cumberland, posted 67. Jack Whalen of New Hampshire, Matt Campbell of New York and Easton Renwick of Pennsylvania also had 67.
Four-time Rhode Island Amateur champion Brad Valois led the group at 68. In all, 25 players broke par in the $18,000 tournament.
Chatfield might be the biggest surprise among the leaders, not because the Notre Dame-bound star is the youngest, but because he is coming off a rib injury. He returned to RIGA competition and picked up right where he left off last summer.
The Wannamoisett member who created a sensation last July when he became the youngest player ever to win the State Amateur at 17, was dazzling with his 30 on the front nine.
Chatfield had yet to play this year because of a rib injury suffered the night before the State Amateur began. He had to withdraw both from that event and the New England Amateur the following week at Metacomet. He certainly looked healthy on Monday.
He began his round birdie-birdie-birdie. The 18-year-old with an almost perfect swing rattled off four straight pars, then eagled the par-5 eighth and birdied the ninth for 30 on the front. He had a bird on 13 to get to 7-under before suffering a double bogey on the par-3 15th.
Carbone was having a good, steady day when he reached the tee on the 15th. The URI grad, who won this tournament I 2009, was 3-under thanks to four birdies and only one bogey. On 15, which normally plays 187 yards, the pin was up front, setting the hole at 171 yards, so Carbone hit seven iron.
"It went right in. It tore up the hole, ripped it apart," was the way Carbone described the ace, the third of his career.
The ball went in on the fly, but not before tearing apart the turf on the left edge of the hole. A piece of turf, as well as some dirt, were in the bottom of the cup. "I thought I did a good job of putting everything back together again,’’ Carbone said. "The cup was round again when I left." Just to be sure, the RIGA sent an official out to repair the cup even more.
Carbone signed his scorecard, then did what guys who make aces are supposed to do. He bought his playing partners, Leopold and RIGA Hall of Famer Charlie Blanchard, a drink and offered everyone in the scoring area a drink, as well.
Leopold had almost as good a day himself, with five birdies and only one bogey. He is on a run, having won the New England Amateur and finished second in the Ouimet Memorial in his last two starts. Leopold did not have a single five on his card.
"I’m just trying to keep it going as long as I can," he said.
Valois also was in good position with a 68, although it was not one that made him happy. Valois went out in 5-under 31 with an eagle on the par-5 eighth, then birdied 10 to get to 6-under. But three bogeys on the way in made him settle for 68.
ABOUT THE Rhode Island Open
Format: Play will be 54 Holes of Stroke Play over
days. There will a cut after 36 Holes. Low 40
plus ties will play 18 holes on day three.
Eligibility: Professionals and Amateurs with an index
3.0 or lower and must have 2017 or 2018 RIGA
of the Year Points. Preference will be given to
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