A trio of players, Jackson Moore of Marietta, Vidalia’s Wally Adams and Jimmy Jackson of Macon, each carded a 2-under-par 70 in the opening round to lead the 25th Georgia Senior Championship, taking place at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Wednesday.
Boyd Johnson, noe of five Statesbporo golfers, is in a six-way tie for 19th, carding a three-over 75.
Mark Baxter of Atlanta, who sits one stroke off the lead at 1-under, 71, is the only other player to score in red numbers in the opening round.
Former GSGA Senior Player of the Year Don Marsh of Johns Creek is tied for fifth at even-par 72 with Jack Kearney of Peachtree City. Kearney finished fourth at last year’s Georgia Senior Championship played at Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega, and Marsh finished fifth.
Three players, John Barry of Marietta, Decatur’s Matt O’Brien and Jimmy Thomas of Johns Creek, finished tied for seventh at 1-over-par 73, three strokes off the trio of leaders. Barry is looking to improve his finish from last year’s event where he tied for 29th, and O’Brien hopes to continue his solid playing after earning runner-up honors at the Georgia Super Senior Championship earlier this year at Cartersville Country Club. Thomas won this event in 2009 at Green Island Country Club in Columbus.
Nine players are tied for 10th at 2-over-par 74, including past Georgia Senior Championship winners Larry Clark of Kennesaw (2006) and Frank Costanzo of Savannah (2002). If either Clark or Costanzo can earn the victory this week at Forest Heights Country Club, they would become just the sixth player in 25 championships to have won multiple times.
Forest Heights Country Club is playing to 6,553 yards and a par 72 during the Georgia Senior Championship.
The Georgia Senior Championship is conducted by the Georgia State Golf Association. Entries were open to male amateur golfers at least 55 years old as of August 24, 2011, who belong to a GSGA Member Club. The field of 144 was determined by the lowest USGA Handicap Indexes.
Second-round tee times get underway at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. The Championship format is 54 holes of stroke play over three days. After 36 holes of play, the field will be cut to the low 70 players and ties.
Score updates -- including a full leader board and individual player scorecards -- are available on the Georgia State Golf Association web site, www.gsga.org. Scores will be updated on the website after nine and 18 holes on Wednesday and Thursday. Live, hole-by-hole scoring will be available during Friday’s final round.
Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 350 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs, management of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.