DiLisio made par on the first four holes after making the turn, but hit a tee ball left that struck a tree on the par-5 fifth hole. He couldn’t find his ball and had to play his provisional, eventually carding a double bogey. He also finished by bogeying the eighth and ninth holes.
Lei, meanwhile, was 2-over par through the first nine holes, then birdied four out of five holes to make his charge.
“I think the back nine, which is the front nine on the course, really helped me. My approach shots were a lot better, I hit more greens, hit it closer to the hole, and I made all the opportunities I had,” the 16-year-old Lei said. “(My confidence) was pretty high. I knew I was rolling it and just kept focusing on making a good stroke and keeping the momentum going.”
Even though DiLisio’s penalty on 18 was frustrating, he felt it had no carryover affect on the last nine holes.
“I just put it out of my mind,” said DiLisio, who is still eligible to win the Pre-Junior Division this year and currently is in a tie for the lead in that division. “Even with the double, I always try to bounce back with a good score. I birdied the next hole (after the double), so that’s always a good feeling. But (frustration) doesn’t carry over for me. I just kind of leave it where it happened and move on from there.”
DiLisio and seven other players finished 3-over par in a tie for seventh place. Essex County Club’s Jon Seward is among that group. Seward had back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth holes to highlight his round.
Ferncroft’s John Perkins is also in the hunt after shooting a 5-over par 75.