Darwin Stalnaker was the leader in the clubhouse Saturday afternoon after he shot 2-over 72 in the first round of the Fayette County Open seniors championship at Springdale Golf Club.
Playing in the final pairing of seniors-only golfers, Stalnaker doubted his score would stand through the half dozen seniors playing in the four-day tournament.
“There’s a lot of good players out there, yet. I’m not holding my breath,” said Stalnaker.
Well, Stalnaker can breath a bit easier entering today’s second and final round at Duck Hollow Golf Club because his score stood.
Stalnaker holds a four-stroke lead over Rick Yurick and Gene Crum, and five shots over Chuck Latsnic and Dave Jamison.
“I hit a lot of greens today, but I hit a lot of putts short. I left about five shots out there. Putts that just didn’t go in,” said Stalnaker.
Stalnaker said he had some ups and downs in the opening round.
“I felt like I had it rolling after No. 1,” said Stalnaker, who has not won the event but has been runner-up. “I hit in the water on No. 11 and took double bogey.
“Everything felt good. I was hitting it solid.”
FASHION PLATE: Attire was more golf-traditional and colors were muted in the third round after a lot of flashy pastels at Uniontown Country Club.
A day after dressing in nearly identical colors, Mike Smith and Mike Revak apparently didn’t check with one another, donning different blue-hued shirts and non-matching golf shorts.
BREAKING THE STRING: Marcus Ondra had rounds of 74 (37-37) in the first two days of the tournament. Ondra broke the string of 74s with a 1-over 71 at Springdale.
PARADE OF CHAMPIONS: The final pairing (Pat Calvaresi, Santino Marchitello, Jeremy Enslen, Harison Laskey) boasts four former champions, including the defending champion (Laskey) and the winner two years ago (Enslen).
The third-from-final threesome has two former champions, Revak and John Lenkey.
GETTING BETTER: Ron Jones opened with a 75, then shaved two strokes to 73 in the second round. The Brownsville grad improved his progression downward with a 70 in the third round.
He sits alone in fifth place with a 6-over 218 entering the final round.
TOP 10 FINISH: Ondra is alone in sixth place at 219. Fred David (220), Lenkey (221), Bro Tajc (221), Jim Kubina (225), and Revak (226) round out the top 10 after three rounds.
THE PORT SIDE: Jerry Zehala and Kevin Muehring are the lone left-handed golfers in the tournament. Muehring holds the edge in the open tournament with a three-day total of 256 (to Zehala’s 269), but Zehala has a two-stroke lead (86-88) heading into the final round of the senior tournament.