Jay Card III (inset) got the best of Laurel Hill GC in round one
(Jay Card and Fairfax County photos)
LORTON, VA (September 21, 2017) - Jay Card, III, from Shelter Island, N.Y., posted a 3-under-par 34-34–68, and took a one-stroke lead after the first round of the 111th Middle Atlantic Amateur championship at Laurel Hill Golf Club.
Card, 23, who tied for sixth at Congressional Country Club last year, finished with two birdies on each nine and missed the green at the 13th, leading to his only bogey. Three of his birdies came on three of the par-5’s, including a closing one at the 562-yard 18th.
The 6,880-yard Fairfax County layout proved to be a tough layout for the 77 starters (33 did not break 80). “You have to be patient and just keep playing,” said Card, a graduate of High Point University and now, for the time being, caddying at The National Golf Links in Southampton, N.Y. A U.S. Amateur qualifier in 2016, he added that, “There are some holes you can go for, but on some of them you have to play it safe.”
Teenagers Michael Brennan, 15, from Leesburg, Va., and Kevin Johnson, 17, from Bethesda. Md., claimed the next two places, followed at 70 by Joe Scheffres, North Potomac, Md.; Scott Shingler, Haymarket, Va., and brothers Matthew and Brian Feinstein, from McLean, Vance Welch, Fulton, Md., was alone at even-par 36-35–71.
Brennan, a high school sophomore, birdied the second hole from 25 feet and two-putted 18 for the last of his four birdies, while Johnson, a Gonzaga High School junior, had five birdies, all in the 12-15-foot range. Brennan, who had played the course before, said one needs to be on the right (proper) side of the hole and know where not to hit it. Johnson highlighted a good competitive summer by recently winning the men’s club championship at Bethesda CC.
Their 69’s broke the first-round scoring record for Juniors, a 75 by Denny McCarthy, who was 15 at the time, in 2008, the first year Juniors were invited to play.
Defending champion Frank Alafoginis, from Arlington, Va., who is still recovering from July wrist/hand surgery, gave it a try, but was forced to withdraw after the round.
Notes: Matthew Malits, shot five successive 3’s on the back nine and finished with 34 for 74. . .Andrew Kolarik, went birdie-eagle-birdie against pars of 4-5-3 on Nos. 4-5-6, holing from 10 feet, hitting a 5-iron to 12 feet at the 525-yard test, and hitting what he called “my shot of the day,” an 8-iron second at the 478-yard sixth that stopped a couple of inches from the hole. . .Gordan Brixi went 3 over on the front nine, then battled back with four back-nine birdies to finish at 72. . .Play will continue through the weekend, with a cut to the low 60 and ties after the third round.
ABOUT THE Middle Atlantic Amateur
54-hole stroke play championship. The field is cut to
the low 60 scores and ties after round two. Open to
members of member clubs of the Middle Atlantic
Association, and by invitation.
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