Wednesday was as perfect a day for walking, viewing and scoring as one could ever expect at a golf course. The wind blew at a minimum and the sun was bright but not overbearing. Scores were relatively low, but not in the low 60s as one might have anticipated. Paul Haley of Dallas, TX, led the field with an unblemished scorecard of 6 birdies, 12 pars. He spread the love equally, going red on 2 par 3s, 2 4s and 2 5s.
Canada’s Garrett Rank and Australia’s Daniel Nisbet finished one stroke behind Haley on day one. A bogey on the blind 14th was all that separated the Antipodean Nisbet from the lead. Rank seized the lead at -7 with four birdies over the first five holes of the inward nine. He then cooled off with bogeys at 14 & 15 to finish at 65.
Cody Gribble, also from Dallas, shook away a double-bogey six on the long, par-4 fifth hole and recorded six birdies over his final eleven holes to claim sole possession of 4th place at 66. Nine players, including USGA PubLinks and Player Am champ Corbin Mills, and Sunnehanna winner and Walker Cupper Nathan Smith, occupied 5th spot at 67.
With luck, the Porter Cup brain trust took a look at the weather forecast today and front-loaded the tee times by going off the first and tenth tees. Thunderstorms could enter the area by noon and hang around until dusk, gumming up the process. With luck, the clouds will skirt the southern edge of Niagara Falls Country Club, sparing the players, grounds crew and committees. For a link to all scores, click here.