July 6, 2011

Morning Recap

Following the first round of play at the 64th MGA/MetLife Public Links Championship at Hominy Hill Golf Course, there’s a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard. Included in this trio is Dennis Lynch of Nassau Players, the two-time defending MGA Mid-Amateur champion. “I hit it close a few times and made some birdies,” said Lynch, the most experienced tournament player among the leading contenders. “I think someone might go low [this afternoon]. I’m just going to go out and try to make as many birdies as I can.”

Eric LefanteJoining Lynch are two players much to the 50-year-old Lynch’s junior: Adam Larkin, 19, of Bethpage and Marc Kunesch, 20, of Rolling Green. All three players shot one-under-par 71’s and are paired in the last groups for this afternoon’s final round.

“I birdied two of the first three holes, so I started off well,” said Kunesch. “My game is starting to come together. Also I really like the course; it’s pretty straightforward and you can play it well after just one practice round, which I had.”

Also in contention is 2008 Met Junior champion Anthony Aloi of MGA e-Club New Jersey, who shot a first-round 72 and birdied the first two holes of his afternoon round to jump ahead of the pack. Aloi can win his second MGA title with a solid afternoon round. Two-time NJSGA Public Links champion (2009 & ’10) Eric LeFante, also playing out of MGA e-Club New Jersey, is no stranger to Hominy Hill as he grew up playing the Monmouth County public track that is regularly considered one of the finest public courses in the Met Area.

First Tee of Metropolitan New York participant and future Penn State Nittany Lion Xander McDonald-Smith shot a first-round 73 and is in a good position to make a move further up the leaderboard this afternoon.

Hominy Hill proved to challenge the field in the morning round as the scoring average was 76.7 and only one eagle was recorded. A strong thunderstorm hit the course just before 2:00pm, causing a delay in play and possibly causing softer greens and more birdie opportunities as the day progresses. The final 18 holes should provide some exciting action as 14 players are within three shots of the lead, making it anyone’s championship to win.

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