Heat was the name of the game in Round 1 of the 87th NJSGA Open Championship at Plainfield Country Club on Tuesday, July 10th. With temperatures approaching 100 degrees and a soft breeze providing only slight relief, players paced themselves around Plainfield’s 6,998 yard layout.
The early lead was established by Brett Jones of Hollywood and Sam Kang of Farmstead, who each carded two-under par rounds of 70. The only other sub-par rounds of the day belonged to Nick Atzinger of Metedeconk and Brian Komline of High Bridge Hills, the 2005 Open Champion, who each shot 71. Frank Esposito of Brooklake, the current champion of the Rockaway River Charity Clambake and a former Open Champion, stands in a three-way tie for fifth place with Brian Gaffney of Rumson and George Frake of Little Mill. A total of 31 golfers shot 74 or better. For full field results, please click on the Live Scoring link above.
Plainfield played firm and fast with the Donald Ross gem in superb condition for the Open Championship. Players generally encountered more difficulty with the back side than the front side. Holes such as #13 - the monster par-4 that plays to 450 yards, #14 – the longest of Plainfield’s par-3s at 220 yards, and #17 – the tricky dogleg right par-4, claimed their share of victims in the opening round. Overall, the front side played to a stroke average of 38.1 while the back side played to 39.9.
Play continues on Wednesday, July 11th when the field will be cut to the top fifty scorers plus ties. The third and final round will be played on Thursday. Spectators are welcome and tickets are not required.