May 11, 2010

Defending Champ Turns in 2-under

A very good front nine for defending MGA Senior Amateur champion Al Small could have been even better if not for a double bogey on the par-four eighth hole.
"I had 91 yards into the green and thought the shot looked good, but I dunked it [into the pond in front of the green]," he said as he made the turn. Still, he made five birdies and one bogey on the front for a 2-under 34. He then hit a nice approach shot to the green on the par-three 10th hole, so perhaps he has some more birdies in him and can make a move toward the lead on the back nine.

--Greg Midland

Making Moves

Timothy Hultquist of Winged Foot has had a string of fine play and is currently 2-under on his round and one back of the leaders. He is the only player in red figures on the day and both of the leaders after back-to-back birdies on the second and third holes. The leaders, Jay Blumenfeld and Randall Keleher are one-over after both had bogeys on their opening hole.

-Billy Condon

Championship Day

The first groups have teed off in the final round of the MGA Senior Amateur Championship at North Shore Country Club. 34 players are set to once again test their games against a challenging golf course. Compared to yesterday's opening round, the players today will face a lengthened course measuring 6,416 yards, as well as more challenging hole locations. 2007 champ Jay Blumenfeld is tied for the lead with Randall Keleher after both men shot 73. Another past champ sitting nicely is Ron Vannelli, who will begin two shots off the pace.

Besides Blumenfeld and Vannelli, four other past champions will be chasing the leaders today. Included in this mix is Ned Steiner, Doug Vergith, Steve Rose and last year's champ Al Small.

Don't discount 2008 runner-up Joe Sommers, who is one shot back in third place and Bill Henry, a magician by trade who is looking to pull off a disappearing act by evaporating from the middle of the field and reappearing atop the leaderboard.

Stay tuned for all the exciting action with live scoring from the last six groups on

-Billy Condon

May 10, 2010

Afternoon Delight

Conditions out at North Shore are much more favorable for the afternoon rounds as the wind is less intense and with the sun shining, the scores have been lower. 2007 champ Jay Blumenfeld made the turn at even par, as did Tom Yellin of Stanwich.

Morning Recap

As scores begin filtering in from the morning rounds, the most notable news gusting in has been Randall Keleher, who made the turn at 3-under par. Keleher, who plays out of the Griff Harris Men's Club had 4 birdies on his front nine (holes 12-2).

Unsurprisingly, the players agree that the windy conditions are making it a tough day, adding significant yardage to the course's longest holes. Players are looking at smart shot-shaping as a strategy in hopes to make it to the final day of competition.

Reigning champ Al Small and 2007 champion Jay Blumenfeld have arrived at North Shore and have been warming up on the putting green. Both players had added layers to their golf ensembles.

-Billy Condon

Long Sleeves and Skull Caps

Players are experiencing brisk temperatures as they battle through gusting wind at North Shore. With the temperature just under 50 degrees, the wind chill has it down to 43. Certainly these conditions are more reminiscent of those expected for the MGA Mid-Amateur that is played in the fall, atypical for May. Nonetheless, the sun is shining and the course is in great condition.

Given both the cool weather and the challenging layout of the course, the course Superintendent predicted a low score of 71. Time will tell how things will play out.

Senior Am Underway

The 2010 MGA season is off and running with the Senior Amateur Championship. This year’s event contains an incredibly talented field that feature 8 past champions, including last year’s winner Al Small. However, it is 2004 champion Doug Vergith that has come to North Shore with the momentum as he won the Senior Division at the Richardson Invitational yesterday at the Seawane Club. Vergith was two down with three to play against Jim Graham, also in the field at North Shore. Vergith’s comeback included a twisting 40-foot birdie on the 17th hole as well as a 10-footer on 18 to win the match and the championship. He teed off on the first hole at 8:00 with Graham teeing off at 1:05

-Billy Condon