Niagara Gazette — He birdied three times but also bogeyed three times to finish his opening round at 70, or even, and tied for 16th.
“It isn’t the end of the world, I just enough close,” said Homa. “In the morning it’ll play a little easier so I think if I just keep doing what I’m doing and maybe just eliminate a couple of the bid misses I’ll be all right.”
Also finishing his opening round even was last year’s Porter Cup winner Richy Werenski, who was asked if being the defending champion increased the pressure on him.
“Yeah, probably a little bit,” he admitted. “I’m trying not to think about it too much, but I just know I’m playing pretty good. My game feels well, so there’s definitely a chance.”
Another of the early favorites, 2011 Porter Cup champion and last year’s third-place finisher Patrick Rodgers, had a tougher first outing, shooting an opening round 73 that included three birdies but also four bogies and a double bogey on Hole 17.
“I was pretty bad all around today,” said the Avon, Indiana native and junior at Stanford University. “It was for sure one of the worst rounds I’ve played in a while, so back to the drawing board a little bit. Hopefully three good rounds to finish the tournament.
“I don’t feel like I’m far off, just nothing really went my way today.”
The windy and cool conditions, along with some leftover moisture from the previous night’s passing thunderstorm, added to the challenge for the first groups to tee off Wednesday morning.
It could have been much worse. Tournament director Steve Denn says the course was spared from serious damage from last Friday’s heavy rain and Tuesday night’s thunderstorm.
“Fortunately it didn’t last too long but it dump a fair bit of water,” said Denn. “But the course is in great shape. Honestly, this is year 13 for me, this is I think the best the course has looked for the Porter Cup.