Mike Cox played the five par-5 holes 3-under par in taking the first-round lead in the annual Middle Atlantic Amateur golf championship at Hunt Valley Golf Club yesterday.
Cox finished 33-37--70 for a one-stroke lead over Vince Zachetti of Greensburg, Pa., 36-35--71. They were the only players in a field of 122 to better par (36-36--72) on the 6,685-yard layout.
John Cecchini of Amherst, N.Y., (37-35) and Pat Tallent, a Congressional CC member from Chantilly, Va., (33-39) both shot 72.
Cox, who lives in Lusby, was playing the course for the first time. The supervisor for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. had three birdies on the front nine, and two birdies and a bogey through No. 17, before finishing with a double-bogey 5.
"With my length, the key was the par-5s and being able to reach them in two," said Cox. "I played them 3 under, and survived the rest of the course."
Cox, who hit 16 greens, is a veteran of this event and has had several Top 10 finishes.
Zachetti, a former Pennsylvania State Amateur champion and two-time West Penn titlist, had two birdies and one bogey.
"There were also some clutch putts, including a series of 6- to 10-footers downhill," he said.
Zachetti might have been the only one to enjoy success on those downhillers, because three-putts were common and there was a sprinkling of sixes, sevens and eights on the scorecards.
"You have to get the ball in the right places on the greens, or you're going to three-putt all day," said Mike Sanger of Green Spring, who shot 73.
The field will play a second round today, then will be cut to the low 60 and ties for tomorrow and low 40 and ties for the final round Sunday.
PGA Southern Open
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- John Daly shot a 5-under-par 67 for a share of the first-round lead with Ed Humenik, Kelly Gibson, Ed Fiori and rookie Robert Friend.