Rain, course test players at Senior Amateur
Early tee times allowed Rick Luzar and Don Slater to miss Monday’s heaviest rains at Croasdaile Country Club.
While afternoon golfers at the Durham Senior Amateur experienced a two-and-a-half hour delay, Luzar and Slater had completed their stellar rounds.
Today, perhaps their combination of luck and talent can bring them tournament championships.
Slater, of Durham, shot a 72 Monday that left him one shot off the overall lead in the Seniors Division as the tournament heads into its final day of play today. Russ Perry and Mark Wagner are tied for the lead at 71.
Luzar, of Pinehurst, shot a 70 to lead the Super Seniors Division.
“We were fortunate,” Luzar said of his three-man playing group that included Charles Woody and Gary Petit. “We played the first four to five holes in a little light drizzle and the rest was overcast.”
Golfers who teed off later weren’t as fortunate.
Heavy thunderstorms hit Durham at 3 p.m. and play was halted. The players did not return to the course until 5:30 p.m., and they kept playing until darkness fell around 8:15 p.m.
Several golfers were unable to complete their first 18 holes. They will resume their opening rounds at 7:30 a.m. today before playing their final 18 holes.
The course already was wet from the weekend’s rains, but Luzar said it played well nonetheless.
“The greens were lovely,” Luzar said. “The course drains very well.”
Beginning his round from hole No. 1, Slater failed to hit the green in regulation. But he didn’t miss another one.
“My whole game is tee to green,” Luzar said. “I missed the first green, but I hit the next 17 greens and made three (birdie) putts.”
Terry Rathman of Gastonia is one shot behind Luzar at 71.
Larry Boswell, the 2012 Super Senior division winner at the Durham Senior Amateur, shot an opening-round 72 on Monday and is among five golfers tied at two shots off the lead.
In the Seniors Division, where the winner will be crowned the tournament’s overall champion today, Perry and Wagner resumed their rounds after the rain and were able to finish 18 holes in before dark.
Reigning tournament champion Ernie Newton of High Point shot a 77.
Slater began his round on the 10th hole but played a consistent round. He shot 36 on his first nine and 36 on his second nine.
“I felt like I hit the ball really good,” Slater said. “I played pretty good from tee to green. My putting was OK, nothing special.”
Slater recorded birdies on two of the first three holes to get to 2-under par. He missed birdie puts on holes 4, 5 and 6. Bogeys on 7 and 8 brought him back to par.
A three-putt on the 14th hole set him back, but he made that up with a birdie on No. 15 before finishing his round with three pars.
“No complaints at all,” Slater said. “Nothing exciting.”
It was good enough, though, for him to have a chance to win the Durham Senior Amateur championship when he tees off at 1:33 p.m. today.