A mighty storm cell was enough to upset the apple cart, albeit only briefly. The long-anticipated (about 100 years) commemoration of the 1912 USGA Open at Grover Cleveland teed off at 8 am on Saturday, July 7th. A mid-morning electrical storm delayed play for an hour or so, but it failed to derail a seven-under par effort from Ryan Hawkins of East Amherst. On the ladies side, Clarence Center’s Cat Peters (71) held a three-stroke advantage over the field when the day’s play ended.

Hawkins’ score earned him a 10:06 tee time in the final threesome. He will be joined by Buffalo’s Chris Covelli (64) and fellow East Amherst denizen Sean Mahon (65) in the chase for the first Erie County Cup. Five other scores of 65 were turned in, ensuring that eight players will begin day two within three strokes of the lead.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz teed off in the day’s first group and played solidly through the rain delay. The county’s First Golfer made the cut for day two of competition, but opted to tend to family and county matters instead.

Peters’ score gave her a three-stroke advantage over Elma’s Michelle Hanes and a six-stroke margin on Sarah Riso of Hamburg. Barring some sort of Na Yeon Choi-esque 65, the cup chase should come down to these three players.

Play begins again at 8 am for the men, with the final group teeing off at 10:06. The women begin play at 10:15, with the lead threesome going off at 10:33.

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