MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – New Seabury on Cape Cod’s Jim Clay, PGA, posted the lone under-par round in the 2021 New England Stroke Play Series opener Tuesday at Newport National Golf Club, posting a 1-under 71.
A trio finished a shot behind at even par, including senior division co-winners Ed Kirby (The Aquidneck Club), PGA and Michael Elliott, PGA. Brendon Ray (Point Judith CC) also fired an even-par 72 for a share of second overall.
A calm morning quickly gave way to high winds, resulting in a difficult scoring day for the 73-player field. Just 11 professionals finished the day at +3 or better.
Clay opened the round with a pair of pars before trading a bogey and birdie on the 3rd and 4th holes. Clay brought his score to 1-under with birdie on the 7th before moving back to even with a bogey on the par-5 eighth. Clay brought his score to 1-under for the second time on the day on the 11th hole and finished with seven consecutive pars to card a 71.
Kirby birdied eight to move to one-under on the day and made nine straight pars before a bogey on the 18th brought him back to even. Elliott pushed his score to two-under par with a birdie on the 14th, but a pair of bogies coming in brought his final score to 72.
Dana Smith (Presidents GC), PGA carded a 2-over 74 to finish solo third in the senior division and seventh overall. Shane Drury (North Kingstown GC), PGA and Steven Hausmann (Amherst CC), PGA each posted scores of 75 to tie for fourth in the senior division and a tie for eighth overall.
Ray made the turn at two-under and pushed his score to three-under with a birdie on the par-5 11th, but a bogey on twelve and double on thirteen brought him back to even par.
Ray and Matt Zdon (Belmont CC), PGA took home the Blind-Draw with a 4-under 68, narrowly edging a pair of teams at 3-under.
Cohasset’s Bryan Kienke, PGA, had the highlight of the day with an ace on third hole from 168 yards. Kienke finished the day with a 76 to finish in a six-way tie for 12th.
The 2021 Stroke Play Series continues with its second installment at Nashawtuc CC (Concord, Mass.) on Monday, June 7th. Professionals can find more information or register by CLICKING HERE.
Thank you to Newport National Golf Club host PGA professional Chris Hulme and the entire NNGC staff for hosting the Stroke Play Series event. The NEPGA would also like to thank its presenting partners: AHEAD USA, Avidia Bank, Bushnell Golf, Harbor Hemp Company, Tag Marshall, SCNS Sports Foods, Cobra Puma Golf, New England Golf Cars, and the PGA TOUR.