HUNTLEY – As the first round of the McHenry County Senior Amateur tournament at Pinecrest Golf Club came to a close, Marengo resident Dave Schwartz found himself with a two-stroke lead.
Schwartz, playing in the championship flight, shot a 4-over-par 76, which was good for the early lead. Heavy rains and low-hanging rain clouds caused for tough conditions in the morning and the course soaked up the heavy rains, which made for tougher play before the skies cleared up. Holes 10 though 18 were especially wet and gave some golfers fits, but that is where Schwartz thrived.
He recorded three birdies on the final nine holes, which helped separate him from the rest of the pack.
“Having those 3s on the card sure helped,” he said. “I’ll take a two-stroke lead.”
Tony Miranda is second in the championship flight with a 78 while Don Langland (79) and Dave Schacherer (79) rounded out the top three scores. The four will be in the same foursome during Sunday’s final round and will tee off at 12:06 p.m.
Eric Mayer, who shot an 81, was paired with Miranda during Saturday’s round and marveled at his skill. The two never had met before but became quite fond of each other’s ability on the course.
“He has a really nice game,” Mayer said of Miranda. “He’s real smooth and I like the way he plays.”
Mayer will tee off just before the top group at 11:58 a.m.
The rounds took a little more than 51/2 hours and slow play took its toll on many golfers. The tournament began at 10 a.m., but other golfers began play earlier in the day, which slowed up the tournament. Director Mike Yackle wished it could have moved a long faster but added that it wasn’t that big of a deal, saying, “That’s just life sometimes.”
Last year’s winner, Huntley resident Gene Beck, found himself in the middle of the pack with an 83 and he hopes to improve and move up during the final round on Sunday.
Chuck Walker had an admittedly disappointing round as he was part of the last group to finish from the championship flight and was disappointed when he turned in his card and looked at the leaderboard at found himself at the bottom. He carded a 93 which placed him 17 strokes off the leader and eight strokes behind Fred Eaton who finished with an 85.
Walker just couldn’t seem to find his rhythm all afternoon. He noted that his 93 was one of the worst rounds he had shot since he could remember, but despite the shortcomings, he was in good spirits and is looking forward to a good final round.
“It was just one of those days,” he said. “I took my licks out there, sure, but I acted like a gentleman even though the ball wasn’t going where I wanted it to.
“I’ll tell you what though, I have some work to do to catch up but I won’t be in last place at the end of tomorrow that’s for sure.”
Tom Miller tied Schwartz’ score when he carded a 76 while playing in the “A” flight which plays from the middle tee boxes. Jeff Carroll led the way with the top overall score as he shot a 75 playing in the “B” flight. He will tee-off at 10:54 a.m.
The golfer with the lowest combined scores in each flight from both rounds will take home first place prizes of merchandise and various awards at the conclusion of Sunday’s second round.