The 62nd playing of the Porter Cup began one day later than anticipated. For anyone who saw the course on Tuesday evening, its playing at all certainly had to be dubious. With the course under water in parts, thanks to an angry visit from nature, the grounds crew had its work cut out to move the course from submerged to mostly-dry by Thursday at eleven am. This they did, and thus we have results from round one of the 2021 Porter Cup.
Leading the way is local favorite Ben Reichert. The Williamsville North product posted a clean card of six birdies and twelve bogies, and reached minus-six on the day. He stands two clear of New Jersey’s Jack Wall, who posted a 66 of his own. Reichert’s start sizzled, as he posted birdie at the first, third, and fourth holes. The first two are mildly expected, but a deuce at the tiny fourth hole is something to crow about. Think Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp green, but with three clubs longer coming in! After a run of six birdies to enter the inward nine, Reichert alternated birdies with pars from holes 11 through 15. The gauntlet that runs from 16 through 18 measures just over 800 yards, but its par is a scant 10 strokes. Reichert played the stretch in 10 shots, and finished at 64.
Jack Wall’s start was similar to Reichert’s, in that he notched birdie at the opening triumvirate of holes. Wall also settled in to a run of pars, from four through ten. He posted two more birdies at the back-nine par five holes (11 and 13) but suffered a bogey at the deceptive 14th. The short par four demands the best-placed drive of the day, else you face a recovery from trees left or right. The green sits blind, well below the landing zone, and an oddly-placed bunker on the top of the greenside slope prohibits a running approach for 50% of the green. The bogey is understandable. And, like Reichert, Wall played the closing holes in par. He stands at 66, four-under through 18 holes. Tied with Wall at minus-four are Colby Patton, a first-time PC participant, and Skip Berkmeyer, a long-time participant who leads the mid-amateur division. Patton hails from Clemson, South Carolina, while Berkmeyer makes his home in Missouri.
Seven golfers stand three shots off the pace, including representatives from Norway , South Dakota, and Minnesota. The second round of the Porter Cup begins at eight am on Friday, and is followed at 1 pm by round three. If you’ve an appetite for golf to open your weekend, map your way to the Niagara Falls Country Club and settle in to a chair for a day of spectacular birdies and the occasional moment of drama. Have a look at some of our shots from day one.