Daniel Russo (Society of Seniors photo)
Daniel Russo came within 1 yard of watching his four-shot lead disappear Wednesday in the Society of Seniors Dale Morey Championship at The Club at Quail Ridge.
Fortunately for the Delray Beach resident, his errant tee shot at the final hole barely stayed in bounds, and he somehow saved par from next to a tree to maintain his four-shot advantage going into Thursday’s final round.
“I could have made a 10,” Russo said. “I was just lucky I found my ball. Even on the second shot, I almost whiffed it. I just took the club back a couple feet. I would have been happy with a bogey.”
Not much else went wrong for the 62-year-old utilities broker. He shot a 4-under 68 on the South Course to move to 6-under 138. He leads Jupiter’s Ken Kinkopf (71-142) and Steve Harwell (70-142) of Mooresville, N.C.
“I played really well,” Russo said. “I had a couple of wrong club selections, but other than that I played great.”
Russo said his biggest accomplishment in golf was twice qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open. He played collegiately at Florida Atlantic University “many, many moons ago.”
Now he has a chance to win his first start in the Society of Seniors.
Kinkopf, No. 8 in Golfweek’s senior amateur rankings, shot his second consecutive 71. Harwell made four birdies and two pars to land a spot in the final threesome.
First-round leader Rich Buckner of Hobe Sound shot 73 and is tied for fourth at 1-under 143 with Steve Cannady (72) of Pooler, Ga., and Brian Keenan (71) of Tampa.
Marc Fried of Solon, Ohio shot a 1-under 71 on the North Course in the Super Seniors (65-69) to take a two-shot lead over Evan Long (74-146) of Charlotte, N.C.
Charley Yandell of Cashier, N.C., had a 73 to lead the Legends (70-74) by two over George Washburn (73-143) of Frederick, Md.
In the Grand Master (75-79), Bob Rogoff of Vero Beach shot 70 and leads Steve Wilson (76-146) of Solana Beach, Calif.
Harry Cain, a Quail Ridge member, had a 78 and leads the Super Grand Masters (80-and-older) by two shots over Dick McClear (78-156).
The Society of Seniors is comprised of amateur golfers who are highly skilled and respect the traditions of the game. Its national headquarters is at The Club at Quail Ridge.
ABOUT THE SOS Championship
54 hole stroke play event that honors one of the
founders of the SOS, Dale Morey, who won more
than 250 events in a lifetime of golf. There is
a John Owens division and Grand Masters
held simultaneously. SOS annual meeting and
banquet is held with this tournament.
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