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The challenging Cascades Course yields just three rounds at 1-under in the first day of the 100th VSGA Amateur Championship in Hot Springs.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
HOT SPRINGS — Much like Merion Golf Club in the recent U.S. Open, the Homestead’s Cascades Course proved it’s still long enough and tough enough to give golfers fits in Tuesday’s opening day of the 100th VSGA Amateur Championship.
The 90-year-old mountain course that measures only 6,667 yards proved to be a veritable beast as the 129-player field limped home with an average score of 77.92. The back nine, despite including two of the layout’s three par-5s, played to a fat average of 39.6. No hole played under par for the day.
Veteran Pat Tallent, who became the championship’s oldest winner at 47 in 2007, and mid-amateurs Vincent Nadeau (Gordonsville) and Matt Brantingham (Richmond) were the only players to break par at 69.
Only seven players matched par, including 17-year-old Zachary Bauchou. The Forest resident played the final 10 holes in 2-under that left him at 70 with seven players, including 2011 champion Scott Shingler (Haymarket) and 2011 semifinalist Bryce Chalkley, a rising senior at Virginia Tech.
Martinsville’s Jack Adkins had a wild ride en route to a 71 that left him tied for 11th. The rising senior at Elon University made only eight pars, parlaying five birdies with four bogeys and a double.
Ridgeway’s Dylan Jensen, a rising senior at Longwood, was among a group at 72. Roanoke’s Jack Wilkes and Chilhowie’s Conner Hayden are tied for 19th at 73 with three-time victor Brinson Paolini of Virginia Beach.
Reigning VSGA Mid-Amateur champion Matt Chandler of Hardy and two-time winner Keith Decker of Martinsville struggled to 74s playing in the same pairing. Starting on the back nine, Chandler bogeyed four of his first six holes and mixed three birdies with a double and a bogey the rest of the way. Decker went out in 40 (back side) before playing the final nine in 1-under.
Of the sizable area contingent on hand, defending champion Jake Mondy of Blacksburg supplied the biggest shocker, posting 77. The rising redshirt sophomore at Auburn was even through 10 holes before crashing with a couple of double bogeys and three bogeys in the final eight holes.
Mondy will have to play better in order to finish in the low 32 for Thursday’s start of match play. Forty players are tied at 75 or better.
“The course isn’t playing easy,” Mondy said. “I didn’t get many good breaks today, but that’s golf. Hopefully they’ll bounce my way [today].”
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