WOODSTOCK, Vt. – Brian Owens (North Kingstown GC) carded a four-under 66 in the opening round of the 2021 NEPGA Senior Championship to take a two-shot lead into tomorrow’s final round.
Owens holds the two-shot lead over Dale Abraham (Cape Arundel GC) and Dan Gillis (Nabnasset Lake CC) with another four professionals sitting three shots back of Owens.
Owens fired a bogey-free round with birdies on 1, 4, 9, and 10, two of which are par-5s. The North Kingstown GC pro played the six par-3s at Woodstock at even-par.
Cape Arundel’s Dale Abraham went out a one-under and added consecutive birdies on 10 and 11 to move to -3. A bogey on the 12th hole brought him back to -2 before six straight pars to finish his round with a 68.
Gillis earned a share of second place after the opening round 68 despite a double bogey and two bogeys on the card. The Nabnasset Lake pro carded six birdies to offset the bogeys and carded a 33 on the back nine.
A pair of former Champions lead the four professionals who sit three shots back in a tie for fourth place. Kirk Hanefeld (Salem CC), the 2015, 2018, and 2020 Champion, carded a front-nine 37 with a double bogey on the fourth hole before a three-under 32 on the back nine to move into red figures. Hanefeld played the six par-3s on the course at -2.
Ed Kirby (The Aquidneck Club), the 2013 Champion, also struggled to gain momentum in the early part of the round, carding a three-over 38 on the front nine. Once again, Kirby caught fire on the back with four birdies and five pars for a 31 and 69 overall.
David Grygiel (Tee ‘N Tee Golfland) opened his round with consecutive birdies and stayed under par until a boget on the 13th hole brought him back to even. Grygiel bounced back quickly with a birdie on 14 before pars to finish the round at 69.
Bob Tramonti (Triggs Memorial GC) rounds out the professionals at -1 for a share of fourth place. Tramonti also opened his round with consecutive birdies before a double bogey on the ninth hole brought him to even-par. A clean back nine with a birdie on the par-3 13th hole brought the Triggs professional back into red figures.
Four professionals finished the day at even par for a share of eighth place: Bill Andrews (Portsmouth CC), James Burke (Ponkapoag GC), Michael Elliott (PGA Member), and Joe Potty (Cohasset GC).
Five qualifying spots at the 33rd Senior PGA Professional Championship are up for grabs tomorrow. Hanefeld, the 2011 Senior PNC Champion, is exempt from qualifying. Tomorrow’s round will determine the five qualifiers as well as five alternates for the Senior PNC this October at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The second round of the 2021 NEPGA Senior Championship begins tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.
The 2021 NEPGA Senior Championship is presented by Cadillac and supported by Avidia Bank, the Golf Channel, John Deere, Mohegan Sun, the PGA TOUR, and RJ Shepherd.
The NEPGA would like to thank Woodstock CC Director of Golf Matt Closter and the entire WCC staff for hosting the two-day Championship.