The flag tells the story of the wind at Monroe GC (MIC photo)
PITTSFORD, NY (June 14, 2018) - The small town of Pittsford, N.Y., is roughly seven and a half hours northwest of Long Island, where the game’s best flocked this week for the U.S. Open. But for a window into the conditions that elite amateurs at the Monroe Invitational faced Thursday, picture the howling winds that also plagued Shinnecock for the first round of the Open.
Monroe Golf Club, a par-70 track designed by Donald Ross, did not yield one round under par on the second day of the 72-hole event as wind gusts reached 30 mph. Leader Kevin O’Connell
claimed the low score of the day with a 1-over 71. O’Connell, a 29-year-old who played college golf at the University of North Carolina, opened with even par on Wednesday.
O’Connell was in the next-to-last group off No. 10, and interspersed two bogeys with four birdies on the back side. After he made the turn, he strung together seven pars before a birdie at No. 8 got him to 1 over, where he remained.
With his steady round, O’Connell moved ahead of Ryan Gerard
, who followed an opening 3-under 67 with 75. Gerard, who recently completed his freshman season at North Carolina, closed his day with three consecutive bogeys and is 2 over for the tournament.
Three players are tied for third place another shot back. Ashton Poole
, last week’s Dogwood Invitational champion
, and Mason Greenberg
, a native Texan who is entering his sophomore season at Vanderbilt, fired rounds of 73 on Thursday. Will Thomson
, headed to the University of Texas in the fall, had a 75 that included an eagle at the par-5 12th. It was particularly impressive considering the hole played dead into the wind.
No one seemed immune to the wind Thursday as the players responsible for some of Wednesday’s best scores put up some of Thursday’s worst. Bryce Hendrix
, who last week won the Palmetto Amateur
, followed an opening 69 with 77. He went 3 over in his last two holes and is tied for 12th.
First-round leader Jake Carter
, who will be a junior at Florida State in the fall, opened with 66
on Wednesday, but failed to break 80 in the second round. Carter started his round on No. 10 and bogeyed all but two holes on the back nine. After the turn, he doubled No. 5 and followed that with two more bogeys to finish with 81. He will enter the weekend at Monroe Golf Club in a tie for 18th and six shots off the pace.
ABOUT THE The Monroe Invitational
The Monroe Invitational is held at Monroe Golf Club
in Pittsford, NY, and is one of the oldest amateur
tournaments in the United States, dating back to its
first playing in 1937. The course is a Donald Ross
design that is a Golfweek Top 100 Classic Course.
The tournament is a 72 hole stroke play event with a
54 hole cut. Invitations are sent out to exempt
players in early February, but the Tournament
Committee would encourage any interested players
to apply for a non-exempt invitation through the
View Complete Tournament Information