Elma Meadows presented quite a different tournament experience from Grover Cleveland as the 2nd year of ECA got underway this morning. Golfers used to the openness of the site of the 1912 US Open were cold-cocked with tree-lined fairways and ultra-small greens at the county’s “other” course. Scores near the top were excellent, with Dan Yustin (68), Billy Hanes (69) and Matt Stasiak (70) in the top three for the men, while Chelsea Dantonio (75), Molly Balbierz (76), Sarah Singleton and Sara Riso (77) are the top four in the women’s bracket (which might as well read young women, as none of them has yet graduated high school!)
Defending champions Michelle Hanes (79) and Ryan Hawkins (74) positioned themselves for a Sunday charge, but will need to go a bit low (around 74 for Hanes and 67 for Hawkins) to make a run at a title defense. In total, 7 players are within 5 strokes of the lead in the men’s tournament, with Johnathan Snyder at 72, Hanes’ younger brother David at 73, along with Brian Rajczak and Frank Garcia, jr. On the female side, no other golfer is within six strokes of the top five, so it’s safe to say that the winner will come from that grouping.
Once again, the combined efforts of the western New York PGA (headed by Joe Bertino) and Erie County (directed by Mark Poloncarz and Troy Schinzel) provided an outstanding day-one tournament experience for all competitors. The tournament has been run in an efficient manner and the golf course is proving to be a proper test to determine two proper champions.
BuffaloGolfer’s Kevin Lynch (The Scrambler) will tweet updates for the final round throughout the day on Sunday. Be sure to follow BuffaloGolfer on Twitter for all the updates.