BOXFORD — Before the day even began all the golfers knew there would not be a repeat champion in the 39th Annual North Shore Golf Amateur Championship, and after one round a large group of players remains in the hunt to wear this year’s crown.
Andover’s Colin Brennan set the Far Corner Golf Course Fox and Heron 18-hole combination on fire last year, setting a new course record of 65 and pulling away for the win. Brennan is unable to defend his title because he is playing in the 113th United States Amateur Championship this week.
No one ran away with the first round here yesterday and the competition should be intense today in the second and final round. In total, 36 players shot in the 70s with North Andover Country Club’s Scott Farley leading the way with a 71 on the Fox and Hawk combination.
Josh Salah, of Gloucester’s Bass Rocks, is in a three-way tie for second place with Tedesco Country Club’s Jim Katsos and North Andover Country Club’s Alec Brown after that trio each shot 72. Salah finished second to Brennan a year ago while Katsos won the title in 1999.
Craig Farley (North Andover CC), Ki Kwon (Far Corner), Phil Miceli (Sagamore), Dom Petruzelli (Thomson Country Club), and Chris Young (Olde Newbury) are each two shots back from the leader at 73.
“I would say anyone within six shots (has a chance),” Far Corner Director of Golf Bob Flynn said. “We had a little rain about 11 o’clock and guys who went out early thought they would have an advantage because the weather forecast was calling for heavy rain this afternoon, which never happened. It missed us.”
Flynn expects an exciting finish, and he couldn’t remember a year when so many players shot in the 70s. Forty-four players made the cut, which was 81.