Beaver – Before the Mountain State Golf Classic teed off, reigning champion Todd Duncan set a goal to shoot at least 10-under par, topping his score from last year.
One day in and he’s halfway there.
Duncan shot a 67 Saturday, 5-under par at the Grandview County Club, to take the lead after the first day of the Mountain State Golf Classic presented by Little General.
The recent Shady graduate and future Mountaineer hit the ground running, birdying on No. 1 and never fully relinquishing the lead.
“Putting was definitely the strongpoint,” Duncan said. “I hit the ball pretty well and I hit it off the tee good. I hit a couple bad shots but I made a lot of putts to get them up and down so when you make putts you can fire a low number out here.”
Duncan kept the momentum going after hole No. 1, birdying No. 4 and 8 on the front nine. Overall it was a solid day for him with his only blemish coming on the back nine when he bogeyed No. 15. Duncan nearly broke even on the par 3 hole, but a putt on his third shot rattled in and out. He responded by sandwiching the miscue with his final two birdies of the day, finishing the day with the lead and maintaining it.
“I think 67 was what I wanted to shoot,” Duncan said. “I met my goal so I’ll move on to tomorrow and see what we’ve got to do from there.”
- Hot on the heels
The 2014 champion Davey Jude came into the tournament as one of the favorites and he showed why. Regaining his amateur status after a few years on the pro circuit, Jude fired a 68 to take sole ownership of second place.
He started hot as well, picking up his first birdie on No. 3 and knocking down an eagle on No. 4. He bogeyed on No. 9 but picked up birdies on 12 and 14 to put himself in great position heading into day two. He still felt he could do better.
“It’s a good start, yes,” Jude said. “I left so many out there today. I’m just not tournament sharp right now from having to sit out a little while. I missed quite a few short putts so hopefully tomorrow it turns around. Bumper (Wright) was playing with me and he said ‘you definitely didn’t make any that you shouldn’t and you missed some that you should make.’ So we left a few out there but we’ll hopefully pick those back up tomorrow.”
- Mays in the hunt
Mike Mays has won this tournament six times. He’s in the hunt for seven.
Mays tore up the front nine, birdying three of the first five holes to finish with a 69, good enough for third place. The veteran admittedly doesn’t play as much anymore but nonetheless put himself in the conversation for his first title since 2005.
“I had a really good day,” Mays said. “I got up and down a few places when I was in a little bit of trouble and made some pars. I made one bogey which I wasn’t really upset about. I made a birdie coming in that offset that but overall I’m extremely pleased with the way I played. I took my time and I stayed within myself and I had a lot of good putts. I made putts when I needed to. I just said to myself I wasn’t going to worry about any leaderboards or anything like that, I had a good group to play with.”
- Washed out
The groups featuring Jude, Duncan and Mays were fortunate enough to enjoy the sunny, breezy weather. Those that teed off after 10 a.m. weren’t as fortunate. Around 2:30 the rain rolled in and didn’t relent.
Amongst those impacted was Wyoming East graduate and Concord University golfer Brett Laxton. Laxton was rolling along, shooting 3-under par before hitting the back nine. Around the time his group hit No. 11 the skies opened and never closed. He bogeyed No. 11 and 15, birdying No. 12 to help ease the sting.
“It makes a big difference,” Laxton said of the weather. “I’d say at least three shots. It’s hard to hit when it’s raining. I hit it pretty well until the rain came, but I was still able to make some pars, so I was happy with it.”
Despite the weather, he finished shooting 2-under, good enough for fourth place heading into Sunday.
The Mountain State Golf Classic will resume on Sunday at Stonehaven. For a full list of tee times as well as results and live scoring please click here: Mountain state Golf Classic updates.
Contact Tyler Jackson at email@example.com, call him at 304-731-5542 and follow on Twitter @tjack94