Noble shoots 79 in opening roundPublished 4:32pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Brian Hayward grabbed the first round lead at the 101st Michigan Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club — North Course Monday.
Hayward (Grand Rapids) shot 66 to take a one stroke lead into Tuesday’s second round. Spencer Slade (Saline) shot 67 to grab second place out of 189 golfers.
Niles’ Chris Noble shot 79.
The pristine conditions of Oakland Hills Country Club allowed the players to shoot low scores in the opening round of the championship.
“I hit all the fairways and had good looks at each green; these greens are in tremendous condition,” Slade said.
Hayward, who tied for third place at last week’s Michigan Open, said “I played really well today and I putted well. The course is in great shape. You have to hit your tee shots in the fairways and you have to know how to putt these severe greens. They are very tricky to read but in tremendous shape.”
The Michigan Amateur, considered the “major” amateur golf in the region, is also the oldest golf tournament in the state featuring the best amateur golfers in the state. To be eligible, a player must be an amateur golfer with a USGA Handicap Index of 5.4 or less.
Fifteen qualifiers were held to select the players to advance to the tournament this week at Oakland Hills CC – The North Course.
While many state championships have become stroke play competitions, the Michigan Amateur remains true to its roots playing two days of stroke play to determine the match play field — the same traditional match play format that’s used to this day to determine the best amateur champions even at the national level.
Round two began at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday off both No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
The field will be trimmed to 64 players following Tuesday’s second round for match play, which begins Wednesday.