NORWICH – Pin placement was the chatter of the course as the morning group of teams came off the course following their first 18 holes at the Canasawacta Country Club’s 61st Member-Guest Tournament. As the scorecards were turned in, only two from morning session were below the course 71-par.
By the end of the round, a total of seven teams shot under the par score with Ryan Johnson and partner Nicholas Barney coming out as the current leaders with a 64 (-6).
Sitting just one stroke back are Matt Burrell and Craig Dawson with a 65 (-5). Currently in third on the leaderboard are the defending champions Bryan Smith and Brian Loomis after shooting an opening round 68 (-3).
Leaders Johnson and Barney turned in a scorecard with 10 birdies and an eagle, scoring on 11 of their first 18 holes played for the tournament.
“We started off a little rough,” said Johnson. “We were 1-under [par] after five holes played but then we were able to string together a few birdies and put together a good end of the round.”
Johnson and Barney started play out on the eighth hole of the course of the morning group. Their streak of scoring started at the 13th with a birdie.
The pair rounded out the with a birdie on hole five, a par on six and an eagle on the last hole of the day – which is a long par five with a narrow fairway and the green on a hill surrounded by sand traps.
“We hit a lot of greens and had a lot of good looks,” continued Johnson. It was a pretty stress-free round.”
Focused play came from Burrell and Dawson during their round as they were paired with the defending champs and teed off from the first hole to start their round. The two duos kept their round scores quiet but did comment that the pin placement throughout the course was tough.
Prior to the tournament, general manager of Canasawacta Country Club Tim Carson did say that the pin placement was going to be difficult and something that most golfers have never seen before at the club. Carson, who is also a participant of the tournament, turned in a 73 (+2) for his first round with partner Scott Seiler Sr.
Johnson, on the other hand, had something different to say. “The course conditions are good and challenging. The greens are rolling really well.
“As far as the pin placement, which I have heard a lot of controversy over, I think they are fine and are pretty playable. It’s exciting and fun to have the different pin placement than we have had over the past couple of years.”
Paul and Nick Brunick started off the first round of their tournament on the fourth hole. By the time they made the turn back after the 14th tee, the brother duo were at 2-under-par. On the course, Paul said, “If we can stay on the pace we are at currently, we can stay there.” The Brunick brothers were able to hold the rest of their round together to turn in a 2-under-par 69.
Tied with the Brunick pairing are Bob Adsit and Dave Capadonia, a pairing that is looking to return to the Master’s Flight once again. Adsit and Capadonia were in the top flight in last year’s tournament and were paired with Smith and Loomis on the final day.
Sitting in sixth place are two teams after turning in a 1-under-par 70. Josh Bennett and partner Matt Morley, who were one of the two groups in the morning session that shot an under par score, are tied with Mike Hayes and Bryan Boyer.
Brett Smith and Thad Fleming are tied for eighth place with Eric Walling and Ryan Hagen. Both teams shot an even-par for the first round. Tied for 10th are Doug Wilson and Joe Gutosky Jr. with Mike Flanagan with partner Andy Eaton after shooting 1-over-par (72).
Four teams are tied for 12th with first round score of 73 (+2). Carson and Seiler Sr. are in the mix with one of the many father-son duos, Stu and Derek Hughes. Also tied for 12th are Jeff Johnson with teammate Denny Mirabito and Lee Skillin with guest member Jim Gorski...