George Zahringer Leads 88th MGA Senior Amateur at Westchester
RYE, N.Y. (May 5, 2015) – The most decorated player in MGA history, George Zahringer of Deepdale, is in prime position to add an MGA Senior Amateur title to his resume after carding a 7-under 65 in the first round of the championship today. Zahringer’s impressive round included seven birdies and one eagle on Westchester Country Club’s West Course to give him a four shot lead going into Wednesday’s final round.
Zahringer is a ten-time MGA Player of the Year, but he has yet to win the Senior Amateur title. His last MGA victory was in 2007, when he won the Ike Championship for his fifth time. His first-round score breaks the record for the lowest 18-hole score in this event – the previous record was a 68 shot by John Humm in 1975.
“A lot went right, whenever you shoot a 65, 7-under, you’re not making many mistakes,” the first-round leader said about his game today. “It would mean a lot [to win], Westchester is a great venue and to win any MGA Championships is a big deal.”
Zahringer’s impressive resume includes wins on every level and spans a few decades: just some of his wins include the 2013 British Senior Amateur, 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 1985 Met Open, five Met Amateurs and five Ike Championships.
Four strokes back of Zahringer is last year’s runner-up, David Prowler of Bethpage with a 3-under 69, who bounced back after opening his round with a bogey.
“I started out pretty poorly…I was lucky to make a bogey but everything went pretty well after that, I played solid all day,” Prowler said. “The greens are just perfect and the condition of the course is spectacular.”
Prowler, an annual contender in the Senior Amateur, is not intimidated by the leading low score, “I just want to go out and play the same way tomorrow and see what happens,” he claimed.
Steve Rose of Fresh Meadow, a three-time winner of this championship (2010, ’05, ’03) finished this afternoon with a 1-under 71 and will look to win a fourth title.
A host of other strong competitors were among the low 43 players who made the cut at 79 to advance to the final round. Tom Dicinti of MGA eClub – N.J. and Richard Jaffee of Rolling Hills each carded even par rounds of 72. Right behind them are a number of top players looking to move up the leaderboard on Wednesday: Jim Romaniello of Shorehaven, defending champion Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge, Richard Feldman of Centennial and Peter Van Ingen of Deepdale all had scores of 1-over 73.
MGA President Steve Boyd of Baltusrol advanced to the final round with a 79, as did Secretary and Treasurer Tod Pike of Apawamis with a 78 and former president and 2009 Senior Amateur winner Al Small of Fairmount who carded a 74.
Westchester Country Club, host of the upcoming 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship this June, is already in prime condition and was met with rave reviews from the competitors today. The West Course played to a par 72 at 6,389 yards for the starting field of 168 seniors, age 55 and over, for today’s first round of the 36-hole championship.
The MGA will be providing live hole-by-hole scoring for the majority of groups in the final round of play on Wednesday. Live scoring is available on the free My MGA mobile app as well as on mgagolf.org. Follow @MGA1897 on Twitter and Instagram for additional championship coverage including scores, player interviews, photos, and recaps throughout the event.