HAMILTON, Mass. – Nearly 200 New England PGA Professionals teed it up in the first round of the 100th New England PGA Section Championship at Myopia Hunt Club and Tedesco Country Club just two players managed to break par.
Bill Andrews, of Portsmouth CC, and defending champion Shawn Warren, of Falmouth CC, were the only two players in red figures after the first round. Andrews shot 2-under par 68 at Tedesco with birdies on the 9th and 10th holes, Tedesco’s only par-5s, and another birdie on the fifth offset by just one bogey on the day to lead the championship by a stroke.
Warren, who has two New England PGA Championships on his resume (2013, ’19) posted back-to-back birdies at Tedesco as well, getting to 2-under par with birdies on the fifth and sixth holes and finished one behind Andrews after making his lone bogey of the day at the 11th.
Dan Venezio, of Portland CC, is two strokes off the lead after shooting even-par 70 at Tedesco, but will bring some local knowledge to Myopia, where he spent time as an assistant, on Tuesday. Steven Daly, of Cape Club of Sharon, is tied with Venezio at even-par.
The eight lowest scores of the day all came from Tedesco, while 2-over par was the lowest round posted at Myopia. Scott Johnson, of Oakley CC, Ryan Kesten, of Concord, John Sheehan, of Boston GC, and Dieter Wiedmayer, of Sankaty Head, each shot 2-over par at Myopia and sit in an 11-way tie for 9th place, with Tedesco, which played an average of four strokes easier on Monday, on tap for round two.
Three-time NEPGA Section Champion Kirk Hanefeld, of Salem CC, is part of that tie at 2-over par but will head to Myopia for round two on Tuesday without much experience on the tricky track.
“I’ve played there probably once in the last 25 years,” Hanefeld said. “It’s quite a golf course, really impressive. I don’t have a lot of local knowledge and I don’t know that anybody really does. It’s going to be a little bit of a learning experience each day we play.”
To commemorate the 100th Section Championship, the day began with ceremonial opening tee shots at both host sites. Two-time NEPGA Champion (1971, ’74) Charles Volpone, struck the opening drive at Myopia Hunt while Bob Green, who dedicated 41 years as the head golf professional at Tedesco Country Club, hit the opening shot at his home course.
The field will alternate courses for the second round of the 54-hole championship on Tuesday. Following the second round, the top 60 players plus ties will advance to Wednesday’s final round at Myopia Hunt Club.
The NEPGA Section Championship would not be possible without the support of presenting partners Omega and Club Car, and Supporting Partners Titleist, Footjoy, TaylorMade, Nike, Mohegan Sun, Avidia Bank and the PGA TOUR.
(New England PGA media provided content for this report)