By Josh Brown
TROY — A first-time leader after the opening round.
A first-time hole-in-one — for the golfer and, possibly, for the tournament itself.
Saturday was a day of firsts at the Troy City Golf Championship at Miami Shores Golf Course, as Shawn Massie finished with a two-stroke lead in the championship flight, and Jeff Bacon connected on an ace in the first flight.
* Calming Influence
Shawn Massie’s day could have been a lot worse had he let aggravation set in.
But his caddy made sure that didn’t happen.
“My son Evan was always with me, keeping me calm,” Massie said. “It helped a lot. It was nice to have my caddy out there with me.”
That calming influence helped Massie do what needed to be done during the first round of the Troy City Golf Championship at Miami Shores Saturday, as he shot 35-37 to take a two-stroke lead in the championship flight after the opening round with a 72.
And with the course set up the way it was, that 72 was even more impressive.
“The pins were tough out there,” Massie said. “I spent the day aiming away from them and trying to make putts. I didn’t hit the ball particularly well, but my putter was on point today.”
As was his 11-year-old caddy.
“I wanted to get frustrated a couple of holes, but I just can’t do that in front of him,” Massie said.
It was the first time Massie has held the lead after the tournament’s opening day — but it won’t change how he plays during today’s final round.
“I’ve finished third here a couple times, been in contention. But this is the first time I’ve had the lead,” he said. “I’m just going to play like I always do. You just find the white ball and hit it wherever it’s going to go.”
Justin Weber sits only two strokes back after shooting an opening round 39-35—74, and former champion Ryan Groff is in third after a 40-38—78. Zachary Allen shot 41-39—80 and sits in fourth, while Holden Scribner and Ray Stuchell shot matching 41-40—81s and are tied for fifth.
Jason Thompson is in seventh, shooting 40-42—82, Andrew Pittenger is in eighth with a 47-39—86 and Andrew Johnston is in ninth with a 47-42—89.
* Acing Par 3s
Jeff Bacon and his group didn’t even know right away.
“It looked close, but we didn’t even know it went in,” Bacon said. “I thought it might have, but we weren’t sure. We all didn’t know until we got to the green — then we just all started high-fiving each other.”
Bacon connected on the first hole-in-one of his golfing career, using a 7-iron to ace hole No. 14 at Miami Shores Saturday and helping him take a six-stroke lead in the first flight after shooting an opening round 39-36—75.
And while Miami Shores Golf Pro Ken Green wasn’t certain if anyone had ever hit a hole-in-one during the City Championship tournament itself — no one has in the past 10 years, at least — Bacon was absolutely sure of one personal milestone.
“That’s the first one I’ve ever had,” Bacon said. “I’ve been golfing here 25 years since high school. It’s my first one anywhere, though. It felt great.”
Bacon dominated all of the par 3s on the course, adding two birdies and a par on the other ones to his hole-in-one to help put some distance between him and the rest of his flight.
“I played pretty well on all of them,” he said. “I came close earlier in the day, too. I was about a foot away from a hole-in-one on hole no. 7.
“Hopefully I can come out, play steady golf tomorrow and win it.”
Jim Rohr (41-40) and Ty Nimer (40-41) are tied for second with 81s, and Ron Moore shot 40-42—82 and sits in fourth. Chad Scribner rounds out the top five with 43-41—84, Jim Howard (42-43) and Jacky Chen (44-41) are tied for sixth with 85, Russ Emerick (45-43) and J.D. Hoover (48-40) are tied for eighth with 88 and Clint Lamb is in 10th with 48-41—89.
* Leaders Roundup
In the seniors flight, Rick Szabo holds a one-stroke lead after shooting 38-44—75 on opening day, with Joe Goodall in second after making a late charge with a 41-35—76.
Jeff Poettinger is third with 40-38—78, Tony Auzene is fourth with 41-39—79, Chris Boehringer is fifth with 40-40—80 and Bobby Rohr (42-39), Tom Marsh (39-42) and Mark Allen (37-44) are all tied for sixth with 81. John Mutschler is ninth with 44-39—83 and Roger Reed (42-43) and Steve Hagar (45-40) are tied for 10th with 85.
There’s a three-way tie for first in the super seniors flight, with Jim Sarich (37-39), Gary Weaver (40-36) and Marty Jackson (38-38) all shooting 76s. Eleven total players are within three shots of the lead, as well, with five golfers — Tom Stickrod (41-36), Mike Cargill (39-38), Jim Waters (40-37), Roger Luring (40-37) and Brent Adkins (38-39) — all only one shot back with 77s. Jack Holtel is ninth with 38-40—78 and Dennis Wyen (42-37) and Doug Willoughby (40-39) are tied for 10th with 79.
In the second flight, Brian Stafford leads with 49-42—91, Eric Collier is second with 49-44—93 and Craig Mothmiller is third with 49-46—95.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.