Bellingham golfer Rick Weihe didn't quite shoot the 75 he was looking for during the first round of the United State Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J., but he's still within striking distance.
Weihe is tied for 78th after he shot a 5-over 76 during the first of two stroke-play qualifying rounds. Weihe needs to finish among the top 64 golfers after the second round on Sunday, Sept. 30, to advance to the match play portion of the tournament, which starts on Monday, Oct. 1.
"I still have a shot tomorrow," Weihe said. "I think I've got to shoot a 75 or 74 or better to make it. ... I can play this golf course. I'm not too worried about it. Tomorrow, I think I should get in there - I will get in there."
Weihe played the front nine in 1-over, despite a double-bogey on the fifth hole.
"I made the best tee shot that I had all day, but it unfortunately landed in a divot and I doubled it," Weihe said. "But I birdied the next hole, and I was pretty happy to finish the front in 1-over."
But the back didn't go as well, as Weihe said he hit poor drives on fourth straight holes and ended up bogeying 10 through 13. He rebounded to par out.
"I struck the ball very well today, especially with my irons," Weihe said. "I didn't miss any greens that I hit the fairway on. I had some bad tee shots, but I scrambled to get par. Overall, I got the score I probably deserved. I could have been worse than 1-over on the front nine, so that kind of evened everything out."
Stanley Kinsey of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is the first-round leader after he shot an impressive 5-under 66 and holds a 2-stroke lead over Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C., and Jim Holtgrieve of St. Louis.