Top area golfers dodged rain drops and endured the humidity Wednesday on the the first day of the 2018 Lima City Golf Tournament at Hidden Creek and Colonial Golf Clubs.
The Senior Championship, the Senior Open and the Super Senior Championship divisions, along with Open Flight play, all teed off with more than 100 golfers hitting the links in the opening rounds of the tournament.
Jim Windau took a big step to defending his senior championship title after shooting a 1-over-par 73 at Hidden Creek. Windau posted a 37 on the front nine and a 36 on the back nine in the field of 14 golfers. Perry Miller finished second with a 75 followed by Brian Norton with a 76.
Windau garnered a bye for his first round efforts and will resume play Friday at Bluffton. The rest of the group tees off today.
“I played pretty well from tee to green,” Windau said. “I did not putt well today but the actual tee to green I was on. I hit one in the water but was able to get it up and down in five and I played with a bunch of good guys and they helped me relax when I was playing.”
With a taste of winning it last year, Windau said this is added motivation to repeat for the long time participant of the event.
“It is kind of exciting to defend my title and I know all the guys,” Windau said. “It is a great tournament and you get a lot of camaraderie going on and it is a lot of fun and it is great to see the big turnout this year too.”
Windau is optimistic because he said he loves match play and added that he actually thinks he is a better in that format than stroke play.
In Senior Open action, Jim Sherrick also grabbed a first-round bye after firing an 80 to tie for the low score along with Mike Stewart. Sherrick got the No. 1 seed after shooting a better score on the final six holes.
Sherrick shot a 42 on the front nine but turned it around with a 38 on the second nine. He had one three putt for bogey on the back nine.
“I love the city tournament and it is a lot of fun,” Sherrick said. “The city tournament turns up the pressure.”
Sherrick remains confident but knows that match play can go either way.
“You have to take it hole by hole and expect your opponent to make what he is looking at,” Sherrick said. “You can never feel like you have a hole won or a match won because it can change in a heartbeat.”
Mike Allen tied with Mike McGough for the low score of 69 to lead the Super Senior division. Steve Creps was next with a round of 71.
Allen said his score of 69 was the lowest he has shot all year and hopes to continue that trend the next couple of days.
“I really have no idea,” added Allen about why he shot such a low score. “I played in a good group and that helps and I just try to swing within myself and concentrate on what I was doing and just enjoy the day.”
Being a member of Hidden Creek probably helped Allen but he said it was one of those things that went well.
“I think the best round I have played this year is a 74 so it was quite a difference,” Allen said.
Allen added that he is at the top but knows golf is a tough game and things could change.
“In golf you can shoot disgraceful one day and you can shoot 10 strokes higher the next,” Allen said. “It was very enjoyable day.”
In the Open Flight played at Colonial, Chris Lauck tallied a 4-over-par 76 to lead all golfers followed by Kayne Richardson and Jason Sarno with scores of 77.
Action resumes today at Hidden Creek with the Championship Flight medal play qualifier at 7 a.m. and the low 32 match play first round commences at approximately 1 p.m. All senior flights begin at Colonial at 8 a.m. and open flights competition begins at Springbrook at 8 a.m.